Indianapolis Colts: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /
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Lydell Mitchell, Baltimore Colts
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. Running Back. 1972-77. Lydell Mitchell. 17. player. 46

Man, there have been some outstanding running backs to sport the horseshoe over the years. While Lydell Mitchell isn’t quite at the top of the list of the best ball carriers in franchise history, he certainly made his mark before calling it a career.

If only Mitchell’s time in Baltimore had lasted longer. Unfortunately, only six of his NFL seasons were spent with the Colts. Still, if it wasn’t for one more recent runner landing with the club, he’d still be atop the team’s all-time rushing yards list. He was the leader for nearly 30 years, having 5,487 rushing yards to his name.

To top if off, Mitchell was quite the receiver. In the days before pass-catching backs were the in thing, he was routinely striking fear in defenses with his abilities out of the backfield. For five straight seasons, he had at least 57 receptions and 500 receiving yards. In fact, he led the NFL in receptions on two separate occasions — as a running back.

All of that success earned him three trips to the Pro Bowl and two All-Pro selections. More importantly, though, Mitchell cemented himself as one of the truly dynamic playmakers to ever don a Colts jersey.