Can “Mr. Irrelevant” become the Colts’ third tight end?
The 2013 NFL Draft started with the Chiefs taking an offensive tackle from Central Michigan.
It ended with the Colts selecting a tight end from South Carolina.
With the No. 254 selection, the Colts took South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham. A team captain in his senior season with the Gamecocks, Cunningham (6-3, 258) caught 23 passes for 324 yards in 2012.
While we can safely pencil No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher into the Chiefs’ starting lineup, Cunningham’s spot with the Colts is far from secure. Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener are safely ahead of him, leaving Cunningham to compete with veterans Weslye Saunders and Dominique Jones for the third spot in the pecking order.
However, Cunningham has landed in a somewhat favorable situation. For starters, the Colts didn’t draft another tight end. Also, he is the first tight end they have added since Pep Hamilton took over as offensive coordinator.
Finally, there’s the matter of money. He’ll receive a four-year contract, assuming the Colts want to bring him to training camp. And it’s but a certainty they will. He’s a draft pick now, and the Colts are going to give him a look in the spring and summer.
And yes, there’s the whole matter of Cunningham being “Mr. Irrelevant,” the title given to the final player selected in the NFL Draft. Here’s to hoping Cunningham enjoys everything that comes with the experience.
Then comes training camp. From the looks of the roster, Justice Cunningham has a shot to make the Colts. It’s an opportunity, but not a guarantee, but the promise of what could be has inched ever closer.