It's only training camp, and as a rookie he tends to watch most of it, but quarterback Jacob Eason has succeeded in turning heads in his short time auditioning with the Indianapolis Colts.
The big arm has been a natural attraction. The former University of Washington player also has shown some maturity in areas that were thought to be questionable or were simply unknown.
It starts at the top with Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who, after getting a close-up look, offered an encouraging assessment of his fourth-round draft pick.
"We've seen some good things out of Eason," Ballard said in a recent radio interview. "Now, Jacob's not getting the amount of reps because of Philip (Rivers) and Jacoby (Brissett), but we've seen some really good things out of Eason. He's very attentive, he's got really good poise, he's probably a better athlete than you think — probably a little better athlete than I probably gave him credit for."
Fitting in with his new team, Eason wears No. 9 for the Colts, with his trademark No. 10 worn by second-year wide receiver Daurice Fountain from Northern Iowa. In due time, maybe the quarterback will get it back.
Early on in scrimmage settings, Eason completed a collective 13 of 17 passes, keeping the Colts defenders on their toes drawing immediate approval.
"I feel like he's picking it up mentality," Colts coach Frank Reich said. "I think he's doing a good job."
Ninety minutes into camp last Monday, Eason really cut loose for the first time in 11-on-11 throwing drills, hitting on 5-of-9 passes with two drops. It was the first time media members got a good look at the newcomer. They offered glowing reviews in their reports.
"There's just an ease in the rookie's throwing motion, with a velocity and accuracy," observed Kevin Bowen of 1075thefan.com.
Eason, a starter at Georgia as a freshman and at Washington as a junior, has had to adjust to not being the main man and having to wait his turn just to get significant practice repetitions.
"It's a new and unique challenge," he said. "I'm taking it a day at a time trying to learn everything I can, trying to compete every day and stay consistent."
While Eason tries to impress, Jake Eldrencamp is another former UW player looking for steady work in the Indianapolis camp. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive guard has been trying to land full-time work with the pros for four years, going to camp with the Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and now the Colts, after leaving the Huskies as a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2016.
Eldrencamp earned a shot with Indianapolis because he has connections with people who know what he can do. The Colts' new offensive-line coach is Chris Strausser, who held the same position with the UW in 2014-16 — and coached Jake.
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