INDIANAPOLIS – Ryan Grigson met with reporters covering the Colts Thursday and spent 30 minutes enjoying interaction while he talked about one of his favorite chores – acquiring players for his team.
Grigson long has had a passion for personnel and if it weren’t his job, it likely would be a favorite hobby.
He is doing what he does best.
When Grigson joined Indianapolis, the team had earned the top pick in the 2012 draft. After one season with him at the helm, it is drafting 24th.
His rookie class last year produced wildly almost from top to bottom. His free agency acquisitions further bolstered the roster and as the Colts returned to the playoffs at Baltimore, there were only 17 players who had been with the team previously and 33 on the active roster had no more than three year’s NFL experience.
The Colts lined up that day with 28 performers without playoff experience, and they played the eventual Super Bowl champions closely most of the way.
Less than a week out from the first day of the draft, many positions on the team are far better equipped to compete than how Grigson found them.
Knowing the draft is the “lifeblood” of an organization, he has whittled a list of 12,000 seniors to far fewer on his draft board.
“(There are) 300 or so, you know? There’s quite a difference between the 12,000 or so seniors you start out with, 850 or so you get when you’re in meetings in the spring and you whittle those down to 300 or 400, and then you whittle it down to six. You shouldn’t make any mistakes, right (grins),” said Grigson as the Colts currently own six selections.
Grigson said he keeps up with mock drafts that are numerous this time of year. Doing so is part of his morning routine. Engaging in things beyond that takes him away from his duty.
“I’m just not big on smokescreens. I feel like that’s wasted energy. I feel it takes your eye off the ball,” said Grigson. “I’m not a big phone guy. I’m not going to show my hand in this process by having conversations with people, trying to pull information from them. Anybody that has half a brain is not going to give me information that’s going to hurt their organization. It’s wasted time. I’d rather focus on watching film and getting players ready.”
Grigson wasted no time last year returning Indianapolis to a competitive level. His players kept their eyes on the ball and in baseball terms, they batted around by winning 11 games.
There is no wasted moment now, and Colts fans have to love Grigson’s ethic.
The Colts own the last pick in this year, the 254th selection that arrives as a compensatory choice and carries the term, “Mr. Irrelevant.”
The moniker is a long-standing citation for the last player taken in the draft. It is the brainchild of Paul Salata, a long-ago Colt.
The name is fun, but a draft choice never is irrelevant to a decision-maker like Grigson.
“I like having that pick. I feel like that’s still a spot in the draft,” said Grigson. “It’s very relevant to us, that pick. We hope to get a player there who has starter traits, just like we would at any other spot.”