The NFL Draft is a roller coaster of emotions for everyone involved, especially the players hoping to be drafted. Fortunately for them, the draft is not the only way to get onto a team. Plenty of players are signed as undrafted free agents after the draft. University of Colorado running back Philip Lindsay is one of those players. After going all seven rounds without a phone call, the Denver Broncos signed Lindsay as an undrafted free agent.
Lindsay is a Colorado boy through and through, having gone to high school at Denver South before attending CU in Boulder, Colorado. Lindsay redshirted his freshman year, and began to see consistent carries in 2016, his junior year.
In 2016, Philip rushed for 1,252 yards on 244 attempts and had 17 touchdowns (including post-season). Lindsay ran rampant during a very successful Buffs’ campaign that saw a well-rounded, high power offense, a stout defense, a Pac-12 South Championship, and a peak at #9 in the national rankings. Philip showed he was more than capable of handling the role of RB1 during the 2016 season. He broke the 100-yard barrier on four occasions including a three touchdown, 219 yard performance against Pac-12 rival Arizona State, while being held scoreless in only three contests.
The Buffs were an old team in 2016 which meant they lost a lot of talent in the offseason. As a red-shirt senior in 2017, Philip stepped up big as a leader both in the locker room and on the field. With Sophomore Quarterback Steven Montez at the helm, Colorado went 5-7, struggling to win games against any quality opponent. Despite the lackluster year for the team, Philip made a strong case for himself as an NFL worthy player.
Amassing 1,474 yards on 301 attempts with 14 touchdowns, Lindsay was able to run over all of his opponents. He eclipsed the 100-yard game mark five times, all of which were at least 140 yards, and was without a touchdown in only two games. Season highlights include a 281 yard, three touchdown performance against the University of Arizona, and a two touchdown, 185 yard game against Oregon State.
Something that the numbers won’t tell you is how impressive Philip was to watch all season. He was the one bright spot on a particularly dull team, and everyone he played knew it. Teams that played Colorado in 2017 also knew that Montez’s accuracy and consistency with the long ball was questionable, allowing them to load the box on every. Single. Play. Those teams game planned specifically for Lindsay and STILL could not stop him. The 5 foot 8 back could not be contained.
His numbers are great, but as everyone knows, that does not always transfer into the NFL. So what made a short running back like Lindsay and attractive pick up? Quite a lot actually. While Philip is rather lacking in the height department, he more than makes up for it with his strength, speed, and agility. His ability to break ankles, explode to the edge, or simply run right through a defender keeps his opponents guessing. He is also an excellent blocker. In fact, he actually LIKES to block, and a back that can block is essential in any NFL team’s scheme.
Between his extensive skill set and his incredible work ethic, Lindsay has potential to be a dark horse in the Denver running back pool this year. So watched for Philip to be making some noise during OTAs and preseason to show everyone they made a mistake by not drafting him. And if higher signing bonuses are an indication of a team’s belief in a player, Lindsay was given a $15k signing bonus by the Broncos, second only to last year’s priority UDFA Jamal Carter, who was given $20k as a bonus. Teams will not pay that unless they believe that player has value.
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