For the first time since 1998, someone other than Bill Polian will be primarily responsible for personnel moves, most specifically the draft, for the Indianapolis Colts.
You know how it went. Out goes Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, and Peyton Manning. Now in is Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and Andrew Luck.
Lots of inexperience there. First time general manager, first time head coach, and first time NFL quarterback.
There’s going to be growing pains next season, a whole lot of them. But the first big move for Grigson will come this week as he directs the future by way of draft picks.
After drafting Andrew Luck at No. 1, the Colts have nine other picks for Grigson to construct the team. It is extremely important for him to nail this first one because it lays the foundation for the franchise.
“Build the Monster,” is their slogan. The best NFL teams, like New England and Green Bay, were built and maintained through the draft.
In the past, Polian used the strategy of best player available, with an emphasis on offense. This draft, I think that may continue. Luck needs weapons to play with and provide help on the field. That includes a wide receiver and tight end with good hands.
At this point, the Colts can use a player at every position but quarterback, punter and place-kicker. Everything is wide open. Priorities include nose tackle, linebacker, a shut-down corner, and offensive line.
In future drafts, I think Grigson will tend to favor defensive players, especially with defensive-minded Chuck Pagano coaching this team. No longer will the Colts be a joke on defense. Instead, they are building a more balanced attacked, therefore if one side is struggling, the other can keep the team in it.
It’s imperative Grigson gets this draft right because they are at the top of each round and the needs are plentiful. He has already gone a different path by picking up some free agents that can contribute. The next question will be whether he can find the undrafted free agents that get looked over in the draft but become playmakers.
Only time will tell.