Jeremy Bloom is bringing his game-breaking skills to Philadelphia. He’s leaving his skis in Colorado.
In an effort to upgrade their special teams and wide receivers corps, the Philadelphia Eagles selected the two-time Olympic skier with the first of their two picks in the fifth round of the NFL draft Sunday.
Bloom played wide receiver and returned kicks at Colorado, but he’s best known as a world-class skier. He has two World Cup championships and two trips to the Olympics on his resume. Now, he could be catching passes from Donovan McNabb and returning kicks and punts for a team that went to the Super Bowl two seasons ago.
“I went into this thing thinking I wasn’t going to get drafted and doing the free-agent deal,” Bloom said. “I try to lower expectations when things are out of my control.”
Bloom, the 147th overall selection, had 24 receptions for an average of 19.1 yards in two seasons at Colorado. He returned 47 punts (13.5 per return) and 25 kickoffs (25.1 per return). He had five touchdowns of 75 yards or more.
A speedy but undersized player — he’s listed at 5-foot-9 and 172 pounds — Bloom was a burgeoning star in college before his football career was put on hold.
In the fall of 2004, the NCAA ruled he accepted endorsements to keep his equally successful career as a skier on track, so Bloom couldn’t be eligible for the football team.
“They don’t give answers to anybody because there is no oversight,” Bloom said of the NCAA. “They make decisions within their organization and don’t have to be held accountable as to why. They’re a very hypocritical organization. They made decisions case by case instead of on precedent.”
Bloom finished ninth at the Olympics in 2002. He bobbled slightly after his second jump on the Olympics moguls course in Sauze d’Oulx and finished sixth this year.
“I wouldn’t trade the last two years for being a first-round draft pick,” Bloom said. “The disappointing thing came when the NCAA wouldn’t allow me to do both and showed me the door. But I think it’s a tremendous blessing to be drafted in the fifth round, and more importantly, to a team that I think is a perfect fit for me.”
The next Edge?
Joseph Addai is ready for the inevitable comparisons.
The Colts’ top draft pick will step into an established offense, where he’s projected as the eventual successor to Edgerrin James. But that also might be the biggest load the 214-pound rookie from LSU will have to carry, at least at the beginning.
“He’s one of the best running backs in the NFL. I know the situation,” Addai said Sunday, a day after Indianapolis selected him in the first round. “The Colts needed a running back, but I feel like if I just come in and do what I can do, give it 100 percent, I’ll be OK.”
Addai, who is similar in size to James and brings the ability to run, catch and block, just wants a chance to compete, whatever his role.
“Some players get drafted earlier, but they don’t really contribute to the team, and I feel like I can contribute and help out,” he said. “I got a chance to watch him (James). The Colts pretty much do some of the stuff we do at LSU: catch the ball, run the ball, block. I think that’s the situation for me, because I did some of those things in college, so I feel like I’m a good fit for the Colts.”
Addai wasn’t a full-time starter at LSU until his senior season, when he rushed for 911 yards and nine touchdowns.
“I’m not trying to make him Edgerrin. ... That’s far too heavy a burden for any back to carry,” president Bill Polian said.
“We just have to let him be who he is, and he’ll be fine,” coach Tony Dungy added. “Joseph will be good, and we’re happy to have him.”
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