The Colts headed into the 2012 NFL Draft with a lot on their wish-list. You name a position, they had a void to fill there. Quarterback, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, the secondary.
After seven rounds and ten picks, they were able to plug a few gaps. But there’s still a long way to go.
We’ve known for months Luck was going to be the pick. Maybe not officially, but how could they not go that route. He’s got a skill set all to familiar with Manning, who blessed the Colts with his services for 14 seasons.
Now, they have set themselves up for another strong decade, once the rest of the roster is complete. Nobody is a sure thing, but Luck is as sure as there has been. He talks the talk and even more important, walks the walk.
Making his first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium as a Colt Friday for his welcoming presser, I loved how he carried himself.
He couldn’t stop smiling and answered every question carefully. Good for him, the No. 1 pick. Colts fans are going to love this guy.
Next up, the Colts won some major points with Luck, drafting his tight end from Stanford, Coby Fleener. Coming to what many have dubbed as an expansion won’t be easy for Luck and others to get started but this is a heck of a start.
Not only does Luck have a comfort guy both on and off the field, he has a familiar target. And that’s huge from the outset. These two will grow and improve, together, and have the chance to become one of the top tandems in the league.
Fleener is more of a slot receiver than a blocking tight end but he can do both, well. Losing Tamme and dropping Clark, the Colts had little to work with at the tight end position. It’s a position that was made popular by Manning and Clark, now Brady and Gronkowski.
With their round three pick, the Colts wanted a corner that was taken just two spots ahead. After losing out, they stayed with their ‘best available player’ philosophy and took another tight end, Dwayne Allen out of Clemson. Unlike Fleener, he’s more of a blocking tight end, who will bury some lineman but also has the hands to relieve Luck. The top tight ends in the draft both coming to Indy. Luck has his safety nets, along with veteran wide-out Reggie Wayne to target.
After drafting four offensive players with their first four picks, Grigson and co. finally went to defensive, temporarily. They got a huge nose tackle in Josh Chapman, who knows winning from his time at Alabama. Chapman tore his ACL early in the season but decided to play through it and not having surgery until after winning the National Championship. He should be ready in time for training camp.
Since the Colts decided to waive Joseph Addai, there was a clear opening at running back. I didn’t expect them to search for an answer in the draft, but they liked what they saw in Vick Ballard from Mississippi State. From what I saw on video, he’s not an every down back, but one to come in situations and give Donald Brown a break.
Ballard had an embarrassing moment last time he was in Lucas Oil Stadium. In town for the NFL combine, Ballard tripped and fell on equipment during his 40-yard dash. Hope that’s just a one time thing.
Elsewhere, not sure how much to make of the other pieces. They took a tackle I’m sure they’d like to have a role on the offensive line. The Colts brass took a defensive end that surely fits into the new defense nicely and can give starters a breather.
I’m eager to see Grigson’s eye for talent in the undrafted market. That was always one of Bill Polian’s specialties.
Rookie mini-camp begins this weekend.
A full rundown of the Colts 2012 draftees below:
Round 1, No. 1 – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
Round 2, No. 34 – TE Coby Fleener, Stanford
Round 3, No. 65 – TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson
Round 3, No. 92 – WR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
Round 5, No. 136 – DT Josh Chapman, Alabama
Round 5, No. 170 – RB Vick Ballard, Mississippi State
Round 6, No. 206 – WR LaVon Brazill, Ohio
Round 7, No. 208 – T Justin Anderson, Georgia
Round 7, No. 214 – DE Tim Fugger, Vanderbilt
Round 7, No. 253 (Mr. Irrelevant) – QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois