Scout's Notebook: Colts WR Reggie Wayne

WR Reggie Wayne, #87 Indianapolis Colts
Height: 5-11 7/8 Weight: 198 Speed: 4.54

Notes: College roommate of Ravens FS Ed Reed at Miami (Fla.), where Colts head coach Chuck Pagano served as DB and special-teams coach during Wayne's tenure. Set a Hurricanes school record with 173 career catches. Was selected 30th overall by the Colts in the 2001 NFL draft and took two years to become a fixture in the starting lineup. Broke out in 2003, when he started all 16 games, not missing a start the next eight seasons. Signed a six-year, $39.5-million contract extension in ’06 and proceeded to earn his first Pro Bowl invite after helping the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI with a 53-yard TD catch in the first quarter. Earned Pro Bowl honors the next four years. Has seven seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards and has caught 898 passes for 12,214 yards and 75 TDs in his career in 163 starts, along with 83-1,128-9 in 17 postseason contests. Is off to the best start in his 12-year career in 2012, catching 36-506-2 in four games.

Positives: Very natural, soft hands catcher with outstanding body control to make in-air adjustments. Extremely quick, savvy route runner ­— sets up defensive backs with stems, nods and head fakes and accelerates at the top of his routes to uncover. Outstanding football intelligence. Understands how to read coverages and find soft spots in zones. Is mentally tough and willing to cross the middle and catch on contact. Exceptional balance in his feet. Terrific hand-eye coordination. Can make difficult one-handed snags look routine. Well-respected team leader. Outstanding work habits. Extremely durable. Rises to the challenge and makes plays in clutch situations, as he did taking over the final drive against Green Bay, making the winning TD catch and converting two 3rd-and-long situations.

Negatives: Modest size. Is not a blazer and lacks elite vertical speed to burn past defenders or pull away from the pack after the catch. Does not power off the line and can be rerouted by physical, press coverage. Not strong or powerful after the catch and at times will look for a safe landing spot. Can give more consistent effort in the blocking game — not a physical, front-up blocker who will earhole defenders or factor heavily in the perimeter run game. Average lower-body explosive power and leaping ability to compete in a crowd.

Summary: One of the few holdovers from a roster heavily stripped after the Bill Polian regime was ousted, Wayne quickly developed a rapport with rookie QB Andrew Luck, bringing precise, reliable route running that immediately has gained the trust of Luck, as it has passers throughout Wayne's career, from college to the pros. A sleek, smooth-moving acrobat, Wayne has all the traits desired in an elite receiver — hands, body control, toughness, route savvy and separation quickness —and has been a model of consistency throughout his career, emerging as the Colts’ most tenured leader in the absence of Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning.

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