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Indianapolis Colts trade for Zack Moss: A look at the impact

Chris Phillips

The Indianapolis Colts were not quiet at the trade deadline like they’ve been in years past. Many fans were hoping the team would be active and more specifically active sellers. Some of the players fans were wanting to ship out of town included Stephon Gilmore, Ryan Kelly and Matt Pryor. 

Instead, the Colts traded away their former 2018 fourth-round pick Nyheim Hines to Buffalo for their former 2020 third-round pick Zack Moss and a 2023 conditional sixth-round pick that can become a fifth-round selection.

The move is a bit head-scratching outside of the $5 million the Colts save since the two players are somewhat comparable. Both players are 5-foot 9 and were drafted with the hopes they would reach their potential and become larger parts of the offense. Instead, they are swapped for one another and are hoping that a change of scenery will do them good.

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Let’s meet new Indianapolis Colts running back Zack Moss

indianapolis colts trade for zack moss
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As previously, stated both players are a bit vertically challenged. However, Moss comes with an extra 27 pounds. He played collegiately at Utah with Julian Blackmon. Moss drew comparisons to Marion Barber when coming out of college. 

“Watching Moss’ game tape is like watching an exercise in controlled violence on just about every carry, but his vision, balance, patience, and wiggle are additional skills that help to make him a well-rounded runner. Personnel evaluators for NFL teams say there is wear and tear that could limit the length of his career. He needs to become more discerning with his physical challenges if he wants to see a second contract. He is a great fit for gap and inside, zone-heavy rushing attacks and could become an effective starter as a middle-round pick.”

Lance Zierlein NFL Analyst

Buffalo was expecting to be getting their “thumper” back to pair with Devin Singeltary. Instead, Moss spent more time watching from the sidelines. For his career, Moss has 225 carries for 917 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, and eight rushing touchdowns.

He also has 44 catches for 319 yards, 7.3 yards per catch and two touchdowns. Coincidentally, the 7.3 yards per catch is the exact same as Hines.

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Indianapolis Colts fans can be expecting what from their new player

This is a running back that could be called “a poor man’s Jonathan Taylor.” The hope is that when either of their running backs are on the field, the offense is not tipping their hand to the defense. From a speed standpoint, Moss is a downgrade. His 40-yard dash time was clocked at 4.65. 

Hopefully, he can be the team’s short-yardage/power back and loosen up the defense a little more for Taylor to utilize his home run-hitting speed. Moss will have some competition for touches as the Colts already have Deon Jackson and Phillip Lindsay on the roster. And both of them have already filled in when necessary.

Considering the calamity that is the Colts’ offensive line maybe Moss’ power will be able to hide or cover up some of the poor play from the line. However, if the offensive line is letting defenders run into the backfield freely it won’t matter. Considering running backs are decreasing in value and increasing in expendability, this opportunity for Moss is shaping up to possibly be his last chance in the NFL.

Colts running backs coach Scottie Montgomery is adept at maximizing the most out of his players. He helped turn Taylor into the best running back in the league. And turned Jackson from only a special teamer to a solid running back. Subsequently, it helped make Hines expendable. And he helped make Jordan Wilkins into a solid runner as well. Moss will be his next project.