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With the 29th Pick of the 2015 NFL Draft: The Indianapolis Colts Select ...


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While I appreciate the Big 10 support Stone, the Badgers aren't exactly known for creating game changing backs that transition well at the next level. Gordon isn't associated with blocking very well & I would need to see him perform blitz pick up against NFL LBs & premier pass rushers before I even think about drafting him. My answer right now on Melvin: No way in hades.

Besides with Ballard, Boom Herron, & Gore in our current rotation, INDY's sitting pretty good at that spot anyway IMO.

Yeah, SW1! "need to see ... perform blitz pick up against NFL LBs & premier pass rushers" ...

Two names : FRANK GORE

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I'm of the view we should find a RB in this draft in the 4th round.

 

I'd like to use our first 3 picks on defense and the OL.

 

But I agree,  Grigson is pushing his chips into the center of the table.   He's got to do well in this draft.

Though I understand your meaning....to the bolded I must admit it is thinking that I struggle with.  I don't see why this draft is any different than any other draft.  I think people need to be more specific with their concerns if they feel like this is a crucial draft for Grigs.

 

I'm suspicious that the real suggestion here is that Grigs needs to do well with his 1st Rd. pick since we whiffed '14 and and have slow development from '13.  The Seahawks are in roughly the same position having gotten Percy Harvin and Paul Richardson (trade back) to show for their last two 1st Rd. picks.  Schneider/Carroll aren't on the hot seat for their misses because they have gotten results on the field - they aren't judged by what they got out of their 1st Rd resources.....and they've robbed their fan base of 1st Rd. anticipation yet again for '15. 

 

In all other rounds, we've been quite productive via the draft - at least by any reasonable NFL standard.  Yes, we need to be more productive via Rd. 1.  Good teams don't miss repeatedly in the 1st.  But Grigs has on the field results to show for his efforts....so I don't see why we'd put more pressure on this draft performance than any other.

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S

CB

ILB

 

I think the best available athlete will be a CB.  I'd hope for Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest, but I think some team in the early twenties will fall in love with him.  That'll leave us with: Jalen Collins, CB, LSU.

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Though I understand your meaning....to the bolded I must admit it is thinking that I struggle with.  I don't see why this draft is any different than any other draft.  I think people need to be more specific with their concerns if they feel like this is a crucial draft for Grigs.

 

I'm suspicious that the real suggestion here is that Grigs needs to do well with his 1st Rd. pick since we whiffed '14 and and have slow development from '13.  The Seahawks are in roughly the same position having gotten Percy Harvin and Paul Richardson (trade back) to show for their last two 1st Rd. picks.  Schneider/Carroll aren't on the hot seat for their misses because they have gotten results on the field - they aren't judged by what they got out of their 1st Rd resources.....and they've robbed their fan base of 1st Rd. anticipation yet again for '15. 

 

In all other rounds, we've been quite productive via the draft - at least by any reasonable NFL standard.  Yes, we need to be more productive via Rd. 1.  Good teams don't miss repeatedly in the 1st.  But Grigs has on the field results to show for his efforts....so I don't see why we'd put more pressure on this draft performance than any other.

 

My comment was based on the perceived (media) view that the Colts are loading for a run at the Super Bowl while Luck is still under a favorable contract.

 

That window is narrow and closing....

 

If we're going to get there and continue to get there in the near future,  then Grigson has to deliver.    I'm not saying he's got to deliver a miracle -- we're picking 29th in each round.    But he's at least got to deliver solid hits.    A Werner-level pick is not going to cut it.

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My comment was based on the perceived (media) view that the Colts are loading for a run at the Super Bowl while Luck is still under a favorable contract.

 

That window is narrow and closing....

 

If we're going to get there and continue to get there in the near future,  then Grigson has to deliver.    I'm not saying he's got to deliver a miracle -- we're picking 29th in each round.    But he's at least got to deliver solid hits.    A Werner-level pick is not going to cut it.

"But he's at least got to deliver solid hits." Yes sir! I agree 100%. The solid hits are at DT (of course), S, and OLB IMO. If they're not picked up I'm gonna be one unhappy Colts Fan. :) Time will tell even after the draft. So, I'm not going to "fully" evaluate until the season starts.

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Though I understand your meaning....to the bolded I must admit it is thinking that I struggle with.  I don't see why this draft is any different than any other draft.  I think people need to be more specific with their concerns if they feel like this is a crucial draft for Grigs.

 

I'm suspicious that the real suggestion here is that Grigs needs to do well with his 1st Rd. pick since we whiffed '14 and and have slow development from '13.  The Seahawks are in roughly the same position having gotten Percy Harvin and Paul Richardson (trade back) to show for their last two 1st Rd. picks.  Schneider/Carroll aren't on the hot seat for their misses because they have gotten results on the field - they aren't judged by what they got out of their 1st Rd resources.....and they've robbed their fan base of 1st Rd. anticipation yet again for '15. 

 

In all other rounds, we've been quite productive via the draft - at least by any reasonable NFL standard.  Yes, we need to be more productive via Rd. 1.  Good teams don't miss repeatedly in the 1st.  But Grigs has on the field results to show for his efforts....so I don't see why we'd put more pressure on this draft performance than any other.

 

To me, the reason this draft is critical is because good teams are able to find high level talent in the draft, talent that can carry their team on a yearly basis. That's especially true when your best players are no longer on rookie contracts, including your QB.

 

Looking back at the last two drafts, some of the picks have been squandered, and others still aren't performing at the level we'd like to see. The new CBA limits your rookie contracts to four years; most of Grigson's picks are at least halfway through their rookie deals. The roster is at a critical state, and the transition to the next phase will depend greatly on how well our draft picks pan out. We won't be able to fix draft misses in free agency the way we've tried to. 

 

The key to building a team around a highly paid QB is to nail the draft. No one is perfect, but you have to do better than the Colts did in 2013 and 2014 if you're paying a QB $20m/year. This year's draft will establish the foundation for the next phase. It will be a bridge between Luck's rookie contract years and his second contract years. It's important to get playmakers from this year's draft, guys who can step in for Cherilus and Toler and Jackson and so on as those guys are terminated or their contracts expire, and at a fraction of the cost.

 

Also, it's not going to obvious whether this draft is what we need it to be until after the 2015 season, at the soonest.

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To me, the reason this draft is critical is because good teams are able to find high level talent in the draft, talent that can carry their team on a yearly basis. That's especially true when your best players are no longer on rookie contracts, including your QB.

 

Looking back at the last two drafts, some of the picks have been squandered, and others still aren't performing at the level we'd like to see. The new CBA limits your rookie contracts to four years; most of Grigson's picks are at least halfway through their rookie deals. The roster is at a critical state, and the transition to the next phase will depend greatly on how well our draft picks pan out. We won't be able to fix draft misses in free agency the way we've tried to. 

 

The key to building a team around a highly paid QB is to nail the draft. No one is perfect, but you have to do better than the Colts did in 2013 and 2014 if you're paying a QB $20m/year. This year's draft will establish the foundation for the next phase. It will be a bridge between Luck's rookie contract years and his second contract years. It's important to get playmakers from this year's draft, guys who can step in for Cherilus and Toler and Jackson and so on as those guys are terminated or their contracts expire, and at a fraction of the cost.

 

Also, it's not going to obvious whether this draft is what we need it to be until after the 2015 season, at the soonest.

 

I'm not sure what your objection to the 2014 draft is,  but otherwise, we're in agreement.   Nice post.

 

I still maintain that this team can get a lot better if our 4 players from 2013 elevate the quality of their play.   If Werner, Holmes, Thornton and Hughes can improve,  the Colts will be much better for it.

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I'm not sure what your objection to the 2014 draft is,  but otherwise, we're in agreement.   Nice post.

 

I still maintain that this team can get a lot better if our 4 players from 2013 elevate the quality of their play.   If Werner, Holmes, Thornton and Hughes can improve,  the Colts will be much better for it.

 

Trent Richardson represents our first rounder. That's my primary issue. Second, and really more of a nitpick, is that we really only got three players out of that draft, pending whatever Ulrick John winds up being/doing. But the three players we have, I like.

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To me, the reason this draft is critical is because good teams are able to find high level talent in the draft, talent that can carry their team on a yearly basis. That's especially true when your best players are no longer on rookie contracts, including your QB.

 

Looking back at the last two drafts, some of the picks have been squandered, and others still aren't performing at the level we'd like to see. The new CBA limits your rookie contracts to four years; most of Grigson's picks are at least halfway through their rookie deals. The roster is at a critical state, and the transition to the next phase will depend greatly on how well our draft picks pan out. We won't be able to fix draft misses in free agency the way we've tried to. 

 

The key to building a team around a highly paid QB is to nail the draft. No one is perfect, but you have to do better than the Colts did in 2013 and 2014 if you're paying a QB $20m/year. This year's draft will establish the foundation for the next phase. It will be a bridge between Luck's rookie contract years and his second contract years. It's important to get playmakers from this year's draft, guys who can step in for Cherilus and Toler and Jackson and so on as those guys are terminated or their contracts expire, and at a fraction of the cost.

 

Also, it's not going to obvious whether this draft is what we need it to be until after the 2015 season, at the soonest.

Very well stated...and those are the reasons why every draft is so critical and why I take exception to the suggestion that this one is particularly critical.  A mature team competing for the top spot won't be in position to swing away at free agents the way we have been - we'll have to draft well and we agree on that. 

 

All told, the angst around here about the importance of this year's draft implies that we've done more than miss on 1st rounders 2 years in a row.  

 

Opinions will vary, but last year's draft is a significant success in as much as you can measure it after 1 year.  Mewhort, Moncrief and Newsome are good pieces from a good draft that simply lacked a 1st rounder once TRich didn't develop.  They are certainly guys that will be counted on to play meaningful minutes in 2015 and beyond and I think most of us would be ecstatic to get 3 more players as good as they appear to be in rounds 2-5 this year.

 

2013 gets a bit of a bum rap as well.  It produced 2 talented, though much maligned, O-linemen that will continue to be counted on in their 3rd year of development.  It also produced a meaningful rotation player on the DLine in Hughes who could still blossom into much more.  Werner is discounted for what he isn't most of the time while we forsake what he is - a third year OLB that tapered off last year but gave us hope in stretches that he he could be a good long term answer at SAM.  Did we get 1st Rd value out of Werner?  No, and we probably never will, but he isn't a zero today, and he will probably be a solid contributor.  

 

We got enough talent out of those drafts that I don't feel like we are behind any 8 ball going into this one.  We also gleaned J. Harrison and Z. Kerr last year as UDFA's who fit into the mix somewhere as developmental projections just like a mid-round draft pick would.  No sense mentioning less proven guys, but we have others and a couple of them will develop.  There are a lot of ways to get players and we are doing a pretty decent job of using them all. 

 

We can't take the year off, but it doesn't feel that much different than any other year to me....

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My comment was based on the perceived (media) view that the Colts are loading for a run at the Super Bowl while Luck is still under a favorable contract.

 

That window is narrow and closing....

 

If we're going to get there and continue to get there in the near future,  then Grigson has to deliver.    I'm not saying he's got to deliver a miracle -- we're picking 29th in each round.    But he's at least got to deliver solid hits.    A Werner-level pick is not going to cut it.

By loading up for a 2015 push we've actually lessened the immediate pressure on production from this draft.  There aren't that many places on our roster that a rookie will get much time barring injury.  It's certainly crucial from a back-filling standpoint once these 30 somethings exit as early as 2016 - no doubt about that.

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Very well stated...and those are the reasons why every draft is so critical and why I take exception to the suggestion that this one is particularly critical.  A mature team competing for the top spot won't be in position to swing away at free agents the way we have been - we'll have to draft well and we agree on that. 

 

All told, the angst around here about the importance of this year's draft implies that we've done more than miss on 1st rounders 2 years in a row.  

 

Opinions will vary, but last year's draft is a significant success in as much as you can measure it after 1 year.  Mewhort, Moncrief and Newsome are good pieces from a good draft that simply lacked a 1st rounder once TRich didn't develop.  They are certainly guys that will be counted on to play meaningful minutes in 2015 and beyond and I think most of us would be ecstatic to get 3 more players as good as they appear to be in rounds 2-5 this year.

 

2013 gets a bit of a bum rap as well.  It produced 2 talented, though much maligned, O-linemen that will continue to be counted on in their 3rd year of development.  It also produced a meaningful rotation player on the DLine in Hughes who could still blossom into much more.  Werner is discounted for what he isn't most of the time while we forsake what he is - a third year OLB that tapered off last year but gave us hope in stretches that he he could be a good long term answer at SAM.  Did we get 1st Rd value out of Werner?  No, and we probably never will, but he isn't a zero today, and he will probably be a solid contributor.  

 

We got enough talent out of those drafts that I don't feel like we are behind any 8 ball going into this one.  We also gleaned J. Harrison and Z. Kerr last year as UDFA's who fit into the mix somewhere as developmental projections just like a mid-round draft pick would.  No sense mentioning less proven guys, but we have others and a couple of them will develop.  There are a lot of ways to get players and we are doing a pretty decent job of using them all. 

 

We can't take the year off, but it doesn't feel that much different than any other year to me....

 

To the bolded, I think that's a really big deal, and that alone justifies the angst (to a degree; some are angstier than others). If the draft is the lifeblood of a team -- Grigson's words -- and you miss on back to back first rounders, you've kind of shot yourself in the foot. You've hurt the franchise -- again, Grigson's words.

 

Some think Grigson's job is on the line, or should be, which I don't agree with. But I do think this year is critical. The team is trying to go from a hanger-on, fringe contender, to being at the top of the food chain. We've already kind of gotten to rarefied air, making the AFCCG. But we got stomped, and it really shows that there's still a divide between the Colts and truly elite competition (not only that loss, but the Steelers loss and the regular season Pats game were sort of reality checks). 

 

We've seen plenty of teams climb the ladder gradually, get to the championship games, lose, and then backslide dramatically. The Falcons, Jets, Chargers, Niners... heck, look at the Steelers since their Super Bowl loss, they haven't done anything. The Ravens missed the playoffs after an improbable Super Bowl run in 2012. The Giants haven't even made the playoffs since they won the Super Bowl in 2011. This roster really wasn't a top four roster in 2014. And there are teams with top four rosters -- Broncos, Cowboys -- that couldn't get to the final four. So what kind of odds do we really have to make it back, much less go further?

 

This all adds up to angst. Some of it is over the top and lacking perspective. But a team in this situation is much more likely to wind up like the Falcons than to have sustained success, much less continue to push further along. Like I said, I believe we are at a critical stage, and success in this year's draft is crucial to our ability to continue to compete deep into the playoffs. That's especially true once we have less cap freedom than we've had since 2013.

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To the bolded, I think that's a really big deal, and that alone justifies the angst (to a degree; some are angstier than others). If the draft is the lifeblood of a team -- Grigson's words -- and you miss on back to back first rounders, you've kind of shot yourself in the foot. You've hurt the franchise -- again, Grigson's words.

 

Some think Grigson's job is on the line, or should be, which I don't agree with. But I do think this year is critical. The team is trying to go from a hanger-on, fringe contender, to being at the top of the food chain. We've already kind of gotten to rarefied air, making the AFCCG. But we got stomped, and it really shows that there's still a divide between the Colts and truly elite competition (not only that loss, but the Steelers loss and the regular season Pats game were sort of reality checks). 

 

We've seen plenty of teams climb the ladder gradually, get to the championship games, lose, and then backslide dramatically. The Falcons, Jets, Chargers, Niners... heck, look at the Steelers since their Super Bowl loss, they haven't done anything. The Ravens missed the playoffs after an improbable Super Bowl run in 2012. The Giants haven't even made the playoffs since they won the Super Bowl in 2011. This roster really wasn't a top four roster in 2014. And there are teams with top four rosters -- Broncos, Cowboys -- that couldn't get to the final four. So what kind of odds do we really have to make it back, much less go further?

 

This all adds up to angst. Some of it is over the top and lacking perspective. But a team in this situation is much more likely to wind up like the Falcons than to have sustained success, much less continue to push further along. Like I said, I believe we are at a critical stage, and success in this year's draft is crucial to our ability to continue to compete deep into the playoffs. That's especially true once we have less cap freedom than we've had since 2013.

No doubt the first rounders are a big deal...and I guess my whole premise is to make the angst that specific rather than get lost in a meaningless sea of generality, as well as to dispell the myth that missing on two 1st rounders represents some difficult to recover from position - especially when one of them is Werner who may yet be a player.

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No doubt the first rounders are a big deal...and I guess my whole premise is to make the angst that specific rather than get lost in a meaningless sea of generality, as well as to dispell the myth that missing on two 1st rounders represents some difficult to recover from position - especially when one of them is Werner who may yet be a player.

 

Well it's not easy to recover from. If Werner was what we hoped he would be, we wouldn't have just spent $16m on Trent Cole. If Richardson was what we hoped he would be, we wouldn't have just spent $12m on Frank Gore. Those are luxuries that will be more difficult to afford once Luck is making $20m/year. 

 

You want to have a balanced offense with a strong rushing attack? You can't miss on virtually every offensive line acquisition -- draft or free agency -- from 2012 and 2013. And I'm more optimistic on Thornton and Holmes than most, but neither of them look like building blocks at this point. No need to mention Satele, McGlynn, Thomas and Cherilus. The first home run OL move from Grigson looks like Mewhort. The 2013 offseason, in which Grigson spent plenty of resources on the line, doesn't appear to have made the offense any better at running the ball.

 

You want to have a strong defense than can control games and set the pace in the postseason? You have to do better than Werner, who is the only high priority draft pick Grigson has used on defense so far. The rest has been free agents, many of which haven't worked out -- Landry, RJF, Jackson -- and the others are marginal. 

 

Now, without many of those moves, we probably would have already slid back into mediocrity. I understand the importance of signings like Walden and Toler, and others who have definitely contributed. But we have to do better than those marginal acquisitions if we want to get to the top tier, and stay there. And the draft is going to be the key. If the 2013 draft had been better, and if we hadn't blown the first rounder on Richardson, we'd be in much better shape. In some respects, there's a feeling that Grigson needs to make up for a couple of lackluster offseasons with one draft. I don't know if that's reasonable to expect, but he definitely needs to nail the first three rounds.

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By loading up for a 2015 push we've actually lessened the immediate pressure on production from this draft.  There aren't that many places on our roster that a rookie will get much time barring injury.  It's certainly crucial from a back-filling standpoint once these 30 somethings exit as early as 2016 - no doubt about that.

 

Interesting that that's your view....

 

It's certainly not mine.

 

I don't view what we've done in free agency to mean that our needs have been met and now we're mostly back-filling.

 

Far from it.

 

I think we have lots and lots of needs still....   and the draft has to fill them.

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Interesting that that's your view....

 

It's certainly not mine.

 

I don't view what we've done in free agency to mean that our needs have been met and now we're mostly back-filling.

 

Far from it.

 

I think we have lots and lots of needs still....   and the draft has to fill them.

I guess need is always relative, but once you identify the positions where a rookie is likely to start, you also identify how few of them there are.  

 

Positions where a rookie is likely to get significant snaps barring injury:

RB rotation with Gore

DL rotation 

S - starter

Nickel ILB

 

All other positions are pretty well locked up for day 1 starters, though I could see a rookie starter at RT if we drafted one in the first or second and cut Cherilus.  Even still they'd have to beat out Reitz and Herremans.

 

We'll certainly need more than that out of our rookies because injuries happen, but we don't have a roster where we'll be looking for the kind of contributions we got out of rookies in 2012.  Its a much better roster than we had in '13 and '14 and we didn't have much room for rookies to get day 1 jobs then either...

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Well it's not easy to recover from. If Werner was what we hoped he would be, we wouldn't have just spent $16m on Trent Cole. If Richardson was what we hoped he would be, we wouldn't have just spent $12m on Frank Gore. Those are luxuries that will be more difficult to afford once Luck is making $20m/year. 

 

You want to have a balanced offense with a strong rushing attack? You can't miss on virtually every offensive line acquisition -- draft or free agency -- from 2012 and 2013. And I'm more optimistic on Thornton and Holmes than most, but neither of them look like building blocks at this point. No need to mention Satele, McGlynn, Thomas and Cherilus. The first home run OL move from Grigson looks like Mewhort. The 2013 offseason, in which Grigson spent plenty of resources on the line, doesn't appear to have made the offense any better at running the ball.

 

You want to have a strong defense than can control games and set the pace in the postseason? You have to do better than Werner, who is the only high priority draft pick Grigson has used on defense so far. The rest has been free agents, many of which haven't worked out -- Landry, RJF, Jackson -- and the others are marginal. 

 

Now, without many of those moves, we probably would have already slid back into mediocrity. I understand the importance of signings like Walden and Toler, and others who have definitely contributed. But we have to do better than those marginal acquisitions if we want to get to the top tier, and stay there. And the draft is going to be the key. If the 2013 draft had been better, and if we hadn't blown the first rounder on Richardson, we'd be in much better shape. In some respects, there's a feeling that Grigson needs to make up for a couple of lackluster offseasons with one draft. I don't know if that's reasonable to expect, but he definitely needs to nail the first three rounds.

I understand your point about the hits and misses and gaps that still persist, but there is no linear cause and effect in those gaps attributable directly to the 1st round gaffes.  Nor is the recovery from poor first rounding a linear equation.  Its a sum of the parts.  

 

There was always going to be slippage in 2013 and '14 on both lines as players matured, and it was exaggerated by some bad luck on the D. Thomas injury, but I really like where we are for 2015 on both the DLine and the OLine and am glad that Grigs is staying the course with his developmental plans supplemented by key signings.  We got a glimpse of that maturation in the playoffs with the OLine and we'll be solid in 2015 as we continue to add young talent there.

 

Sometimes you draft a 4th rounder and get Geno Atkins and other times you use a first on Bjoern Werner and get Erik Walden - it all evens out if you stay with it.

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I understand your point about the hits and misses and gaps that still persist, but there is no linear cause and effect in those gaps attributable directly to the 1st round gaffes.  Nor is the recovery from poor first rounding a linear equation.  Its a sum of the parts.  

 

There was always going to be slippage in 2013 and '14 on both lines as players matured, and it was exaggerated by some bad luck on the D. Thomas injury, but I really like where we are for 2015 on both the DLine and the OLine and am glad that Grigs is staying the course with his developmental plans supplemented by key signings.  We got a glimpse of that maturation in the playoffs with the OLine and we'll be solid in 2015 as we continue to add young talent there.

 

Sometimes you draft a 4th rounder and get Geno Atkins and other times you use a first on Bjoern Werner and get Erik Walden - it all evens out if you stay with it.

 

Yeah, I disagree. I feel pretty confident that if Werner were a monster pass rusher, we wouldn't have paid Trent Cole what we did. And I feel similarly about Richardson/Gore. It's not always that matter of fact, but the relationship between those moves is hard to ignore.

 

And the slippage on the lines in 2013 and 2014 wasn't supposed to be there. We were supposed to be significantly better on the lines in both years. Two free agents in 2013 on the OL who were supposed to solidify their positions. RJF was supposed to be a starter and play well. Those three guys had a ton of missed games due to injury, and one of them isn't here anymore. Art Jones missed a ton of games in 2014. 

 

Again, I'm not trying to be critical of Grigson. In some respects, the line play did get better on both sides of the ball, although not to the degree we needed. I'm just saying that I disagree that there was supposed to be slippage in either season. I think the opposite is true.

 

Of course I agree that it all balances out, eventually. But that's more true of the draft as a whole, not specific to any one team. For every Bjoern Werner, there's a Geno Atkins, but that doesn't mean that they both wind up on the same roster. When you miss on a first rounder, it's not just that he's not what you hoped he would be; it's that Werner could have been Xavier Rhodes or Travis Frederick; Richardson could have been Marcus Smith or Jimmie Ward. And then the needs on today's roster would be different, maybe not as many, and not only is your roster better, but you have more young, foundational players on cheap contracts.

 

The strategy isn't a problem, IMO. Staying with it makes sense. It's the execution of the strategy that needs to be better. It was in 2014; the draft was good, just handicapped by a bad trade. I expect this year's draft to be good as well, with the added benefit of having a full complement of picks. And it's important for 2015 and beyond that this year's draft be strong. 

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Of course I agree that it all balances out, eventually. But that's more true of the draft as a whole, not specific to any one team. For every Bjoern Werner, there's a Geno Atkins, but that doesn't mean that they both wind up on the same roster. When you miss on a first rounder, it's not just that he's not what you hoped he would be; it's that Werner could have been Xavier Rhodes or Travis Frederick; Richardson could have been Marcus Smith or Jimmie Ward. And then the needs on today's roster would be different, maybe not as many, and not only is your roster better, but you have more young, foundational players on cheap contracts.

The strategy isn't a problem, IMO. Staying with it makes sense. It's the execution of the strategy that needs to be better. It was in 2014; the draft was good, just handicapped by a bad trade.

A bad trade that, in 20/20 hindsight, could have been entirely avoided with a 2013 selection of Leveon Bell instead of Werner...as long as we're still lamenting the Richardson fiasco and considering what could've been with that 2014 1st rounder.

Of course...the mere mention of selecting a 1st round RB sends a large chunk of fans into DEFCON 1, regardless of the fact that some RBs actually deserve a 1st round selection.

The fact that we missed the opportunity to have a new edition of "triplets" consisting of Luck, TY Hilton and Leveon Bell will become increasingly more sickening unless Bjorn Werner turns into Jared Allen sometime soon. I'm not holding my breath.

Even still, Grigson has done a pretty solid job getting the team this far....and all GMs just plain whiff sometimes. And this round of free agents have provided us with "bridge" players that perhaps bring us a step closer to a SB.

Temporarily....pending these next 2-3 drafts that will form up the nucleus of the "Luck era" Colts as Andrew hits his prime.

But compounded mistakes such as reaching for Werner and missing on a clear 1st round talent and 3-down playmaker in Bell...and then five months later trading a 1st rounder for a wildly over rated Richardson just can't happen again.

Grigson and the scouts absolutely need to be on their A game the next 15 months.

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Trade up and get safety Collins or trade down and get another 2ed and 3ed round pick. This draft is deep for DL and OL, so for where we draft there's not a huge drop off drafting about 15 positions lower and picking up a 3ed. The guy that I'd really look at at the bottom of the 2ed is Mario Edwards Jr. from FSU. If he can stay in shape he could be a beast, 275 pounds and ran a 4.71. He's down to 266 and reportly ran around a 4.6. He can beef up to 285 and play outside or slim down and play the OLB position..

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Yeah, I disagree. I feel pretty confident that if Werner were a monster pass rusher, we wouldn't have paid Trent Cole what we did. And I feel similarly about Richardson/Gore. It's not always that matter of fact, but the relationship between those moves is hard to ignore.

 

And the slippage on the lines in 2013 and 2014 wasn't supposed to be there. We were supposed to be significantly better on the lines in both years. Two free agents in 2013 on the OL who were supposed to solidify their positions. RJF was supposed to be a starter and play well. Those three guys had a ton of missed games due to injury, and one of them isn't here anymore. Art Jones missed a ton of games in 2014. 

 

Again, I'm not trying to be critical of Grigson. In some respects, the line play did get better on both sides of the ball, although not to the degree we needed. I'm just saying that I disagree that there was supposed to be slippage in either season. I think the opposite is true.

 

Of course I agree that it all balances out, eventually. But that's more true of the draft as a whole, not specific to any one team. For every Bjoern Werner, there's a Geno Atkins, but that doesn't mean that they both wind up on the same roster. When you miss on a first rounder, it's not just that he's not what you hoped he would be; it's that Werner could have been Xavier Rhodes or Travis Frederick; Richardson could have been Marcus Smith or Jimmie Ward. And then the needs on today's roster would be different, maybe not as many, and not only is your roster better, but you have more young, foundational players on cheap contracts.

 

The strategy isn't a problem, IMO. Staying with it makes sense. It's the execution of the strategy that needs to be better. It was in 2014; the draft was good, just handicapped by a bad trade. I expect this year's draft to be good as well, with the added benefit of having a full complement of picks. And it's important for 2015 and beyond that this year's draft be strong. 

Ah, I see.  Yes, there is always a linear relationship between a specific miss on a player and the specific action required to patch it up.  No argument there.  

 

However, to the extent that a roster is rated for talent as a whole, and the extent to which it's ability to win is impacted by missing on first round talent,  there is no linear recovery.  There is too much precipitation from too many variables.

 

As for slippage on the lines - I'll clarify.  In signing D. Thomas and Cherilus coupled with the drafting of Holmes and Thornton followed by Mewhort, our O-line was not going to be a finished product until 2015 at the earliest.  Grigs chose a path requiring rookies to develop, and that investment curve was always going to have short term trade-offs ie. slippage.  Mewhort gets a lot of support around here, but yes, there was a lot of slippage at LG last year compared to where we would project the position to be at maturity.

 

To suggest that 2015 is more critical than any other draft class is to suggest that these guys aren't playing for the highest stakes every year....or, in essence, that by trying harder under greater pressure this year, they'll somehow do better.  As if you can become a better scout by trying harder?  Drafing on Tilt won't enhance your judgement...  No, they'll do well because they have the right ideas, adhere to the right principles and learn from their mistakes.  If that doesn't work, the clock will expire and someone else will get a chance.

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Yeah, I disagree. I feel pretty confident that if Werner were a monster pass rusher, we wouldn't have paid Trent Cole what we did. And I feel similarly about Richardson/Gore. It's not always that matter of fact, but the relationship between those moves is hard to ignore.

 

And the slippage on the lines in 2013 and 2014 wasn't supposed to be there. We were supposed to be significantly better on the lines in both years. Two free agents in 2013 on the OL who were supposed to solidify their positions. RJF was supposed to be a starter and play well. Those three guys had a ton of missed games due to injury, and one of them isn't here anymore. Art Jones missed a ton of games in 2014. 

 

Again, I'm not trying to be critical of Grigson. In some respects, the line play did get better on both sides of the ball, although not to the degree we needed. I'm just saying that I disagree that there was supposed to be slippage in either season. I think the opposite is true.

 

Of course I agree that it all balances out, eventually. But that's more true of the draft as a whole, not specific to any one team. For every Bjoern Werner, there's a Geno Atkins, but that doesn't mean that they both wind up on the same roster. When you miss on a first rounder, it's not just that he's not what you hoped he would be; it's that Werner could have been Xavier Rhodes or Travis Frederick; Richardson could have been Marcus Smith or Jimmie Ward. And then the needs on today's roster would be different, maybe not as many, and not only is your roster better, but you have more young, foundational players on cheap contracts.

 

The strategy isn't a problem, IMO. Staying with it makes sense. It's the execution of the strategy that needs to be better. It was in 2014; the draft was good, just handicapped by a bad trade. I expect this year's draft to be good as well, with the added benefit of having a full complement of picks. And it's important for 2015 and beyond that this year's draft be strong.

Couldn't have said it any better myself, Superman! :) Nice post.

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Ah, I see.  Yes, there is always a linear relationship between a specific miss on a player and the specific action required to patch it up.  No argument there.  

 

However, to the extent that a roster is rated for talent as a whole, and the extent to which it's ability to win is impacted by missing on first round talent,  there is no linear recovery.  There is too much precipitation from too many variables.

 

As for slippage on the lines - I'll clarify.  In signing D. Thomas and Cherilus coupled with the drafting of Holmes and Thornton followed by Mewhort, our O-line was not going to be a finished product until 2015 at the earliest.  Grigs chose a path requiring rookies to develop, and that investment curve was always going to have short term trade-offs ie. slippage.  Mewhort gets a lot of support around here, but yes, there was a lot of slippage at LG last year compared to where we would project the position to be at maturity.

 

To suggest that 2015 is more critical than any other draft class is to suggest that these guys aren't playing for the highest stakes every year....or, in essence, that by trying harder under greater pressure this year, they'll somehow do better.  As if you can become a better scout by trying harder?  Drafing on Tilt won't enhance your judgement...  No, they'll do well because they have the right ideas, adhere to the right principles and learn from their mistakes.  If that doesn't work, the clock will expire and someone else will get a chance.

 

A rising tide lifts all the boats, right? Yes, there are a lot of variables, but the better you draft, the more talent you have to build around, and the better your team is. If the 2013 draft was better -- and yes, I know that's a nitpick with the benefit of hindsight -- then the 2015 offseason would look a lot different. 

 

No one is complaining about "slippage" at LG because Mewhort was probably our second best lineman last year. Growing pains and all that, and yet he's not part of the problem. Center-right is the problem, and that's where the Holmes/Thornton/Cherilus issues create angst.

 

And I'm not saying that the staff needs to feel like they're under pressure; Irsay isn't a radical, floats with the breeze kind of owner. And I'm not saying that they should just try harder and all problems are solved and we're in the Super Bowl. It's like you said -- learn from your mistakes, adhere to the right principles, stick to the process, and make the team better. We speak in agreement there.

 

I think the separation is that I feel this offseason is critical as a bridge between the upstart, over-achieving Luck Era Colts who have benefited from having a top ten QB on a rookie contract, and the perennial contender Luck Era Colts that we hope this team becomes, even though it will be harder once he gets paid. This offseason isn't critical in a "we have to win the Super Bowl, or else" kind of way. It's critical in that this year's draft will lay the foundation for the next stage in this team's development. If we want to have sustained success, this draft has to be strong.

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A bad trade that, in 20/20 hindsight, could have been entirely avoided with a 2013 selection of Leveon Bell instead of Werner...as long as we're still lamenting the Richardson fiasco and considering what could've been with that 2014 1st rounder.

Of course...the mere mention of selecting a 1st round RB sends a large chunk of fans into DEFCON 1, regardless of the fact that some RBs actually deserve a 1st round selection.

The fact that we missed the opportunity to have a new edition of "triplets" consisting of Luck, TY Hilton and Leveon Bell will become increasingly more sickening unless Bjorn Werner turns into Jared Allen sometime soon. I'm not holding my breath.

Even still, Grigson has done a pretty solid job getting the team this far....and all GMs just plain whiff sometimes. And this round of free agents have provided us with "bridge" players that perhaps bring us a step closer to a SB.

Temporarily....pending these next 2-3 drafts that will form up the nucleus of the "Luck era" Colts as Andrew hits his prime.

But compounded mistakes such as reaching for Werner and missing on a clear 1st round talent and 3-down playmaker in Bell...and then five months later trading a 1st rounder for a wildly over rated Richardson just can't happen again.

Grigson and the scouts absolutely need to be on their A game the next 15 months.

 

I disagree on the Werner/Bell issue. Obviously I don't think Werner is worthy of a first rounder, but the thinking was that he'd be a good pass rusher. You mentioned the idea that RBs shouldn't be taken in the first round, which is an idea that I personally subscribe to. And while it's true that Bell is a better player than Werner, the real value comes as time goes on, when a good pass rusher is still productive in Year 8, and a RB is out of the league or 30% of a timeshare. 

 

But I'd obviously prefer your alternate reality, which would probably prevent the Richardson trade. It might prevent the Jerry Hughes trade, also. 

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A rising tide lifts all the boats, right? Yes, there are a lot of variables, but the better you draft, the more talent you have to build around, and the better your team is. If the 2013 draft was better -- and yes, I know that's a nitpick with the benefit of hindsight -- then the 2015 offseason would look a lot different. 

 

No one is complaining about "slippage" at LG because Mewhort was probably our second best lineman last year. Growing pains and all that, and yet he's not part of the problem. Center-right is the problem, and that's where the Holmes/Thornton/Cherilus issues create angst.

 

And I'm not saying that the staff needs to feel like they're under pressure; Irsay isn't a radical, floats with the breeze kind of owner. And I'm not saying that they should just try harder and all problems are solved and we're in the Super Bowl. It's like you said -- learn from your mistakes, adhere to the right principles, stick to the process, and make the team better. We speak in agreement there.

 

I think the separation is that I feel this offseason is critical as a bridge between the upstart, over-achieving Luck Era Colts who have benefited from having a top ten QB on a rookie contract, and the perennial contender Luck Era Colts that we hope this team becomes, even though it will be harder once he gets paid. This offseason isn't critical in a "we have to win the Super Bowl, or else" kind of way. It's critical in that this year's draft will lay the foundation for the next stage in this team's development. If we want to have sustained success, this draft has to be strong.

 

Watershed moments are a lot easier to spot looking backward than forward.  In the meantime, just doing your job is all you can do.  Speaking of which, I should take my own medicine and go do mine.

 

Good chat.  Genuinely enjoyed it.  

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I disagree on the Werner/Bell issue. Obviously I don't think Werner is worthy of a first rounder, but the thinking was that he'd be a good pass rusher. You mentioned the idea that RBs shouldn't be taken in the first round, which is an idea that I personally subscribe to. And while it's true that Bell is a better player than Werner, the real value comes as time goes on, when a good pass rusher is still productive in Year 8, and a RB is out of the league or 30% of a timeshare.

But I'd obviously prefer your alternate reality, which would probably prevent the Richardson trade. It might prevent the Jerry Hughes trade, also.

Good point....the Werner selection probably factored to some degree in Hughes's departure as well.

But I'll stick to my guns that if a given RB prospect is a premier talent and a 3-down playmaker....which Bell is....I wouldn't rule that RB out of the first round, especially at the point where we usually select.

Scouting and identifying that kind of talent and fit is what GMs get paid for.

Anyway...I don't make a habit of playing this 20/20 hindsight game, and again, all GMs whiff sooner or later.

But damn, could you imagine Bell...plus Hughes....plus perhaps one of the 2014 1st round safeties?

And no Richardson fiasco? smh

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i dont get the people saying to pick an ILB with the 29th. your first round should be a positional need and someone who can come in and start day 1 not someone who will be 4th on the depth chart behind freeman, jackson & now irving

for us its either:

1:  a big body in the DL to start along side jones and langford, or

2: an OL who can kick inside at G or outside at the RT

3: a RB who can split the workload with Gore, have gore in on every 3rd down to either block or catch out of the back field...depending on situations rotate on 1st and 2nd downs.

 

in that order. if there isnt any first round talents for either of those positions at 29 we take the best available player which if for some reason all first round talent is gone by 29 at those spots there is sure to be and LB/WR/CB that was projected higher but has dropped because of all the DL/OL/RB taken.

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Good point....the Werner selection probably factored to some degree in Hughes's departure as well.

But I'll stick to my guns that if a given RB prospect is a premier talent and a 3-down playmaker....which Bell is....I wouldn't rule that RB out of the first round, especially at the point where we usually select.

Scouting and identifying that kind of talent and fit is what GMs get paid for.

Anyway...I don't make a habit of playing this 20/20 hindsight game, and again, all GMs whiff sooner or later.

But damn, could you imagine Bell...plus Hughes....plus perhaps one of the 2014 1st round safeties?

And no Richardson fiasco? smh[/quote

Y I K E S ! Might of played Seattle instead of the Massachusetts serial killers and WON to boot!

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Superman quotes : "The strategy isn't a problem, IMO. Staying with it makes sense. It's the execution of the strategy that needs to get better."

Exactly. Funny that you mentioned this, Superman! This exactly is the mindset of one Jim Irsay talking about this very thing a couple of days ago. Creating the substitutions on a much faster pace and implementing the "strategy" was a big issue in speaking with the entire coaching staff Irsay said. SCHEMES and faster pace is what the Colts need to perform on a vastly larger scale to be competitive in every single game they play from now on. Some of the winning and pronounced teams seem to be doing that very thing. New England has been associating with this logic for years now. It fits into a larger system of creating mismatches even though teams are equally matched on the field of play from a talent standpoint. I really feel that the Colts have learned this judging from the moves and talent projection thus far the last 2 seasons or so. Perfecting this takes time. Indianapolis will continue to flourish at this most important aspect of the "New Era" (as I like to call it) of NFL football, IMHO! :) GO COLTS!

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i dont get the people saying to pick an ILB with the 29th. your first round should be a positional need and someone who can come in and start day 1 not someone who will be 4th on the depth chart behind freeman, jackson & now irving

for us its either:

1:  a big body in the DL to start along side jones and langford, or

2: an OL who can kick inside at G or outside at the RT

3: a RB who can split the workload with Gore, have gore in on every 3rd down to either block or catch out of the back field...depending on situations rotate on 1st and 2nd downs.

 

in that order. if there isnt any first round talents for either of those positions at 29 we take the best available player which if for some reason all first round talent is gone by 29 at those spots there is sure to be and LB/WR/CB that was projected higher but has dropped because of all the DL/OL/RB taken.

"2: an OL who can kick inside at G or outside at the RT"

This is the mentality that some NFL fans have on the opposite side as it relates to the defensive line as well. OLBs and ILBs who display the capacity to play both positions (I'm a huge fan of this philosophy) can create absolute headaches to opposing teams from a strategic standpoint. Speed, tackling ability, pass rushing, and just flat-out "versatility" is in many ways invaluable. The ability to evaluate situations and pace of the game nowadays can be game changers. I like your assessment of the OL, "Kezzarino". This does not mean that DLs who display such containment should be overlooked, too. The combination of all of those qualities establish very dangerous teams in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts are now one of those "dangerous" teams even before the draft. CREATE HAVOC, IMO. It will most assuredly leave opposing teams in the dust so to speak who have not pointed to this strategy.

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I say Jordan Phillips.

All the people saying we shouldn't take a D-Lineman because the staff is going to let Chapman and others develop are kidding themselves.

The last few weeks of the season showed the staff is willing to make the hard choices and play the best player.

Grigson has said that you win in the trenches in this league and there are some absolute game wreckers on D-Line in this draft. I refuse to believe that we'll pass on a guy like Davis or Phillips just because we have Chapman or Hughes.

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Well it's not easy to recover from. If Werner was what we hoped he would be, we wouldn't have just spent $16m on Trent Cole. If Richardson was what we hoped he would be, we wouldn't have just spent $12m on Frank Gore. Those are luxuries that will be more difficult to afford once Luck is making $20m/year. 

 

You want to have a balanced offense with a strong rushing attack? You can't miss on virtually every offensive line acquisition -- draft or free agency -- from 2012 and 2013. And I'm more optimistic on Thornton and Holmes than most, but neither of them look like building blocks at this point. No need to mention Satele, McGlynn, Thomas and Cherilus. The first home run OL move from Grigson looks like Mewhort. The 2013 offseason, in which Grigson spent plenty of resources on the line, doesn't appear to have made the offense any better at running the ball.

 

You want to have a strong defense than can control games and set the pace in the postseason? You have to do better than Werner, who is the only high priority draft pick Grigson has used on defense so far. The rest has been free agents, many of which haven't worked out -- Landry, RJF, Jackson -- and the others are marginal. 

 

Now, without many of those moves, we probably would have already slid back into mediocrity. I understand the importance of signings like Walden and Toler, and others who have definitely contributed. But we have to do better than those marginal acquisitions if we want to get to the top tier, and stay there. And the draft is going to be the key. If the 2013 draft had been better, and if we hadn't blown the first rounder on Richardson, we'd be in much better shape. In some respects, there's a feeling that Grigson needs to make up for a couple of lackluster offseasons with one draft. I don't know if that's reasonable to expect, but he definitely needs to nail the first three rounds.

"You want to have a strong defense that can control games and set the pace in the postseason?"

This is exactly what the Colts must do. Schemes, pace, speed, and outright versatility on every play demands this in acquisition of the end goal in "hoisting" the Lombardi yet again. Nice post, Superman! :)

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Landon Collins, if available (doubt he gets past the Eagles)

If not, NT (Armstead, Goldman, Phillips) or OT (Although G/C is also a need, I wouldn't spend a 1st rounder on those positions - Peat, Clemmings)

 

I know many people are against trading one of our TEs for an extra pick or to move up. With the interest Clay drew, I'm not oppose to the idea if it helps fill an immediate need (Bengals, Browns, Steelers). Maybe to move up in the second with the Falcons (to get pick 42) or Saints (pick 31). 

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