Through eight games this season, several Colts’ rookies have shown promise. And while Indianapolis used three draft picks to address their need in the secondary, first-year running back Marlon Mack has been the most impressive rookie to date.
The 6’0″ 210-pound running back left the University of South Florida as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,609 career rushing yards and 33 touchdowns.
The fifth-round draft choice has been limited to only six games this season after sitting out against the Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks with a shoulder injury. Mack has impressed since his return from injury averaging 6.0 yards per carry over the past four games.
On the season, Mack has 183 yards on 43 carries with 2 touchdowns. He is also a receiving threat out of the backfield with 10 receptions for 110 yards, including a slick screen play for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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Since his coming out party against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5, in which he had 9 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown, Mack has been an integral part of the Indianapolis offense. He’s a quick, slashing running back with the ability to bust a big-play. His running style is a stark contrast to Frank Gore, who is more of a downhill runner.
This past week against Cincinnati, Mack finally overtook Gore as the primary running back. Though he didn’t start over Gore, Mack lined up for 40 total plays, while Gore finished with 34. Look for this trend to continue, as Mack will likely take over the 2018 starting role from the free-agent-to-be Frank Gore.
Mack has the potential to be the most explosive running back Indianapolis has had in a long time. With his increased role in the Indianapolis offense, Mack is sure to have more opportunities to hit the home run play.