This Sunday, September 23, former Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James will be inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor. James, who was a strong and punishing back, was a key player during the Peyton Manning era. The former Miami Hurricane came into the NFL in 1999 as the fourth overall draft pick. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, a four time Pro Bowl selection, and led the league in rushing in back to back seasons in 1999 and 2000. James had a total of 12,246 yards with a rushing average of four yards per carry. He did play for Arizona and Seattle towards the end of his career, but most NFL fans will remember James running the ball for the Colts. The Colts' all-time leading rusher will be honored this Sunday as the Colts take on the Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. James will join other Colts greats Marvin Harrison, Jim Harbaugh, and Bill Brooks. In honor of Edgerrin's induction here is my list of the top five Indianapolis Colts ever.
Please note that all players and facts can be verified by the NFL official website.
1. Peyton Manning, QB, 1998-2011: I will go out on a limb to say that he will likely be added to the Ring of Honor once his historic career is at an end. Just like James, Manning will not have only played for the Colts. Peyton help lead the team to a Super Bowl XLI victory and he was named the MVP. Always a student of the game and looking to coach his teammates on and off the field Manning was the main reason why the Colts were a playoff team for ten years during the Manning era. Manning is an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, 4 time NFL MVP, and was the AFC Player of the Year six times.
2. Marshall Faulk, RB, 1994-1998: Faulk was the second overall pick in 1994. Just like Edgerrin, Marshall won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. In his rookie season Faulk ran for 1,282 yards and scored a total of 12 touchdowns. Faulk was a running back that was not only a threat to run the ball, but he could go out and catch a pass as well. The next back to take Marshall's place was James after Marshall was traded to the Rams.
3. Marvin Harrison, WR, 1996-2008: One of the best quarterback-wide receiver tandems was Manning and Harrison. Always on the same page with Manning, you could see that it just took one look from Peyton and Harrison picked up the audible. Harrison was an eight time Pro Bowl selection, eight time All-Pro, and was named the NFL Wide Receiver of the Year in 2002. Marvin had 14,580 receiving yards, 1,102 receptions, and 128 receiving touchdowns.
4. Bob Sanders: SS, 2004-2010: One of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL, Sanders was nicknamed "The Eraser." Sanders' defensive style is similar to the Steelers' Troy Polamalu. He was the leader of the Colts defense and was a safety that was not afraid to tackle. Bob is a two time All-Pro as well as a two time Pro Bowl selection. In 2007 he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
5: Dwight Freeney, LB, 2002-present: Keeping with the defensive theme, Freeney is another household name for Colts fans. This former Syracuse Orangeman was drafted 11th overall in 2002. Freeney is a seven time Pro Bowl selection, three time First-team All-Pro, and was the 2005 AFC Defensive Player of the Year. He has over 100 sacks and has forced 43 fumbles so far in his career. Dwight is known for his quick jump off the line that makes offensive coaches have specific game plans to stop him. Just like Peyton, once Freeney is retired you can expect the Colts front office calling him to be part of the Colts Ring of Honor.