The Colts have been largely successful under the Pagano/Grigson era despite mixed results through the draft. Most experts agree that Grigson nailed the 2012 Draft even if Luck was taken out of the equation, the problem is 2013 and 2014 classes look really poor up to this point. So, that means Grigson is under more scrutiny this year, especially with a full compliment of draft picks. Opinions vary as to how the Colts should proceed, but with the recent free agent signings, the team is left with more options as to what they can do in the draft.
Instead of looking at particular players to be drafted, I thought maybe it might be just as beneficial to look at how they might act, especially with the options afforded them this year.
What don’t they need?
Well obviously they’re doing okay at quarterback, alright that’s a bit of a understatement, but I’d be shocked if they took a quarterback at all. Also, wide receiver is probably not an area of big need, but if the right player is available in the early rounds I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if they took one. It seems that teams can never have enough skilled players but I’d say it more unlikely but not impossible. Tight End looks to be another area of strength, but I could see a scenario were picking one up might be wise. Both Fleener and Allen will be looking to get paid as rookie conteacts expire. If the team could find a cheap replacement for one of them, they might be able save money or flip into draft pick via trade which is often more valuable the money.
Rating above tight end on the need scale would be running back. With the signing of Frank Gore, the team will not be forced to reach for a perceived need, but instead can let the draft come to them. Second to third round should allow them to pick one up at a good value or use some of the extra picks to move up. Expect this to be address in the draft.
Offensive line is another area that has been a big need with the team. The team made moves this offseason which should solidify most spots on the line, but center has been a fluid area on the line and looks to be settled in camp. Although it seems Holmes and Harrison should be battling it for the starting role, both are thought to be the future, but if an enticing player is available, the team may be tempted to go in that direction. Probably low probability but again-not impossible.
Big Need: Defense
Defensively the team will have many options through the draft to address major roster holes, probably none greater than the safety position. The team added Dwight Lowery in the offseason to pair up with Mike Adams who is also closer to the end of his career than the beginning. The Lowery signing allows the team to draft a future starter that won’t have to make an instant impact, but can rather work his way in and maybe eventually win one of the starting spots. This seems very likely.
Also, a pass rushing OLB might be area for the team to consider. Mathis is expected to return this season, but he is aging and no one is sure what he can provide the team consistently. Newsome showed promise as a rookie, so again the team is not desperate, especially factoring Trent Cole’s ability to get to the qb. Werner hasn’t lived up to the first round draft pick, but he isn’t a lost cause yet.
Cornerback is another perceived strength on the team, but if a good CB is available, it would not be unsurprising if they jumped on him. Linebacker is always an area of need so look at this being addressed in the draft. Again, the position seems to be jammed up, but depth always seems to be a necessity to make it through a long season.
Bottom Line: Make it Count
As you can see, Grigson will have plenty of options and picks in the draft this year to prove 2012 wasn’t a fluke. A solid draft class this year can really improve his legacy and how is viewed as a draft leader. The team had made many necessary moves this offseason to address areas of problem on the team last season. Grigson has the chance to finish the overhaul he started in 2012 and to complete the other portion of task presented to him from his boss, another Lombardi Trophy.