COMMENTARY | The Indianapolis Colts have a three-day minicamp coming up, and one of its participants will be evidently be a wide receiver who spent time in training camp last year with the Minnesota Vikings and who currently stars in the Arena Football League: Kamar Jorden.
Jorden tweeted a message to his followers on May 6 that read, "All I needed was another opportunity and I got one this weekend in Indianapolis!!!! 3-day mini-camp..." Attached to the tweet was a photo of the Colts logo.
Jorden, who is currently listed as a 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver for the AFL's Spokane Shock, was placed on the Other League Exempt list by the team on May 7. This roster move allows the Shock to retain their rights to Jorden while he's in Indianapolis and to add another player to their roster for their May 11 game against the Orlando Predators.
It's becoming readily apparent that the Colts have their eye on the Arena Football League. While Jorden is in town, he can trade notes about arena football with Colts receiver Jeremy Kelley and linebacker Jake Killeen, who also have experience in the AFL. Last season, the Colts gave two additional arena veterans a shot: Ty Nsekhe and the late Jerry Brown.
It probably doesn't hurt that Colts GM Ryan Grigson was the player personnel coordinator and assistant coach for the AFL's Buffalo Destroyers during their inaugural season in 1999, so he's well aware of the hidden gems in that league.
He posted 96 receptions for 1,109 yards--both of which rank third-best in Bowling Green history--during his junior year and added four touchdowns. During his senior campaign, he racked up 78 receptions for 1,089 yards and 12 scores for the Falcons.
Some of his college highlights can be seen in this YouTube video.
Jorden was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent and spent part of the 2012 preseason with Minnesota before being released. In an April 25 interview with the Arena Football League's Mallory Treleaven, Jorden said that he was released after breaking his hand.
He joined the AFL's Shock in November.
"Kamar Jorden has elite ball skills and is one of those guys that is always able to come down with the ball in traffic," said Shock general manager Ryan Rigmaiden at the time for an article on the team's website.
Jorden has adapted quite well to the pass-heavy, high-scoring indoor game played on a 50-yard field. Seven games into his rookie season in Spokane, Jorden ranks second on the team with 48 receptions for 587 yards and 15 touchdowns. He's an integral part of one of the most prolific offenses in the league, and he's on the watch list for the AFL's Rookie of the Year award.
"Kamar is one of the most athletic guys we've had around here," Shock head coach Andy Olson recently told Jim Meehan of the Spokesman-Review. "After the catch, he's tremendous. He's got a lot to learn, but he's just so talented, he makes it look easy."
In 2012, Sports Illustrated noted Jorden's reliable hands, good balance and body control, and a willingness to make catches across the middle of the field in traffic. They raised a concern, however, about average speed and lack of separation.
He ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in March of 2012, which would have tied him for No. 22 out of 41 wide receivers at the 2012 NFL Combine and No. 25 out of 35 wideouts at this year's event. Average speed seems like a pretty accurate assessment.
Speed isn't everything in the NFL, though. Some fast guys can't catch the ball. Some slower guys do just fine in the league. For example, Baylor's Kendall Wright was drafted by the Tennessee Titans at No. 20 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft after running a 4.61 at the Combine, and he's also smaller than Jorden.
Additionally, Jorden has had the benefit of playing arena football for several months, which requires speed, explosiveness and agility to succeed at the level at which Jorden is succeeding. It's quite possible that he's quicker now than he was a year ago.
Jorden gets a second opportunity now to show what he's learned and how much he has progressed in a year since being a Viking--and to prove that he belongs in the NFL.
I'm pulling for him to stick around town for awhile.
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Glaskin-Clay (used with permission)
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Indianapolis Colts
- Arena Football League