INDIANAPOLIS – When the first round of the draft rolls around on the evening of Thursday, May 8th, Colts fans will be wondering what is going on in the mind of general manger Ryan Grigson.
Will the Colts stand pat at pick No. 59 and wait until Friday evening to make their first selection in 2014?
Or will one of the deepest drafts in recent history be too enticing for the Colts to hold their ground?
If the Colts do in fact stay at No. 59, there will be quality talent available.
For proof, look no further than the finalists for the 2013 NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Of the six finalists for the award, four of them were chosen in the second or third rounds (Cincinnati’s Giovanni Bernard, Buffalo’s Kiko Alonzo, Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy and San Diego’s Keenan Allen).
“With having no first round pick, you are going to have to look a little bit harder and you are going to have to be a little bit more sure of yourself because that’s your first pick,” Grigson said on Colts Up Close.
“We feel that the draft is deep enough that we are going to find a real quality player there and beyond.”
Grigson wasn’t the only general manager who went out of his way at the Combine to praise the depth in the 2014 draft class.
While he won’t rule out a move into the first round, Grigson is comfortable with the depth he saw in Indianapolis.
“It’s heavy with juniors (98 underclassmen, a draft record) up near the top and that’s going to push down some of those seniors and push down some of those players that would have been taken higher,” Grigson said last week.
“So I think just good scouting 101, draft common sense. You would assume there are going to be players in those mid-rounds that’s going to be heavy with talent that maybe in other drafts you wouldn’t have been able to get.”
The quartet of last year’s rookies mentioned above came in the form of three players impacting playoff teams (Alonso was the fourth and finished the year with the third most tackles in the NFL).
Once the pending free agency period comes to a close in the next few weeks, the picture will become a bit clearer on the areas of need for the Colts.
No matter the direction, come May 8th the Colts personnel department will be analyzing every move made in the opening round.
With the 2014 Combine in the books, the preparation now reaches the next phase in trying to improve a playoff roster.
“Even though we are not picking in the first round, you never know what can happen,” Pagano said.
“Ryan is a crafty guy when it comes to the draft so you never know what’s going to happen. You prepare for everything.”