Philip Wheeler Headed to Indy
Philip Wheeler (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Philip Wheeler (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Managing Editor, ColtPower.com
Posted Apr 27, 2008


The Indianapolis Colts added to their linebacking corps with the selection of Philip Wheeler from Georgia Tech in the third round of the NFL Draft Sunday. Get to know this player better inside.

ColtPower.com identified the Colts' interest in Wheeler as far back as the Senior Bowl, when we reported the Colts had an interview with him, and mentioned him as a possible darkhouse pick for the Colts in the third round.

Although Wheeler played inside linebacker for the Yellow Jackets, Scout.com has projected him as an outside linebacker in the NFL and ranked him as the eighth-best OLB prospect in the draft.

Scout.com's Tom Marino, a 35-year scout in the NFL, said Wheeler is "A great young man (quiet and humble). Lacks prototype size for inside play (good natural leverage) . Plays physical, but has to be covered up or protected."


Philip Wheeler
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Wheeler is just under 6 feet, 2 inches and 240 pounds and ran a 4.74 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

In an interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson in January, Wheeler said, "I used to consider myself just like a Cato June. My sophomore year of starting, I idolized his game. And I think I can play the same position that he played so well for the Colts."

Wheeler appears to be a tackling machine (89 tackles in 2007) and is a versatile addition to a young linebacking corps. He could be considered at middle linebacker for the Colts' defense, after the team released backup Brandon Archer, and spell Gary Brackett, or eventually replace him in the middle.

He also brings a pass-rushing element — he had four sacks in 2007 as an inside linebacker — to the Colts and should be a solid special teamer. In another interview with Thompson in April, Wheeler said his pass rush success is because, "I think I'm pretty quick and that gives me the edge over bigger guys I'm pass rushing against. I'm also bigger than the running backs that try to block me, so I think that gives me another edge."

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