Colts Prospect: WR Trent Shelton

TRENT SHELTON

Shelton was Baylor's all-time leading receiver and recent big-play specialist. He has some enviable skills and a rare ability to make hard yards after the catch. At question, though, are his deep speed and hands. He says he'll make the team, but who knows?

Trent Shelton WR Baylor

Numbers: 5117/210, 4.58 forty

2006 stats: 53-802-8 receiving, 1-(-11)-0 rushing, 5-110-0 kick returns, 2-(-3)-0 punt returns, 2 tackles

The Player: You may not have heard of Trent Shelton, but it's not from a lack of confidence on his part. "I know (Anthony) Gonzalez is a good receiver," he admitted in an interview after he signed with the Colts. "But I think I can beat the other guy (Roy Hall) out."

The kid's a showman. He's got long, blonde-streaked braids and never seems to be at a loss for words. Luckily, he's been able to back it up — you don't become Baylor's all-time leading receiver and big-play specialist without a high degree of talent and toughness.

Built more like a halfback than a wideout, Shelton's a naturally elusive runner who can find soft spots in the secondary. A solid route-runner (rare these days at any level of college ball), he has good explosion off the snap and is hard to disrupt. Shelton has good vision and will adjust his route and his position to help out a quarterback in trouble. Once the ball is in his hands, Shelton runs low, with excellent lean and knows how to make defenders miss or pay dearly for poor tackling attempts. And, if the play isn't going his way, Shelton can lay a decent block.

Too bad he only has pedestrian speed for the position and no real second gear. He won't force any defenders to play far off the line. And, well, he is not gifted with natural catching hands. He gives a great effort, but tends to double-catch and expose the ball to defenders.

Shelton has some experience as a return man, but hasn't distinguished himself in this area, breaking few long ones and occasionally making his catches into thrilling, action-packed adventures.

While he may be a bit of a show-off, don't think Shelton is a flake. A smart kid and a coaches' favorite, Shelton is a well-spoken and well-disciplined young man who realizes football is a team game.

Reminds me of: Arnaz Battle, a Notre Dame quarterback who was picked in the sixth round of the 2003 draft by San Francisco and converted to a wide receiver. He's developed into a decent No. 3/4 receiver who can fill in on returns in a pinch.

How he fits: If you ask Shelton, he'll probably tell you he's already made the team. But others — like Hall, Aaron Moorehead, John Standeford and the other wide receivers in camp — will beg to differ. But Shelton's chances aren't that bad. He has many elements the Colts appreciate and few rookies can boast about.

He'll be given a shot in the slot — where his ability to get open and make yards after the catch will help him and his lack of footspeed will be less obvious. If he shows he can catch the ball consistently and develops a rapport with Peyton Manning, he could have a future in Indianapolis.

Still, Shelton faces an uphill battle to make the post-Labor Day roster and is more likely to be fighting for a spot on the practice squad.

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