Draft grades now are, essentially, meaningless. A draft is truly graded two years from now. However, based on potential, it seems most of the experts seem to think that the Colts had one of the better drafts of 2007. As an unbiased observers with an extensive knowledge of how draft's work (don't laugh), I will take it one step further:
This was one of the best drafts Bill Polian has ever presided over in Indianapolis.
I said this last night on SBNSR (right before TheSportsGuru and I started making fun of Quinn PitCOCK's name): The Colts draft was impressive and addressed many, many needs. In fact, the draft really addressed all the needs outlined in our five things the Colts need to do in order to repeat as World Champions. Remember that list? You should, because you voted on it. If you don't remember (or are just too damned lazy to click the friggin' link), then I'm happy to jog your memory:
Replenishing the linebacking corps and getting playmakers along the defensive line were the two big keys to repeating. In the draft, the Colts managed to grab Quinn Pitcock (DT) and Clint Session (LB) in rounds three and four, respectively. While I have faith that Freddie Keiaho will do a fine job replacing Cato June at WILL, depth at LB is very important. Session is a fast Cover 2 backer that even gets a thumbs up from our resident Tony Romo lover (and BTB contributor), Terry:
As a season ticket holder of the Pitt Panthers, I had the opportunity to watch Session play live several times and I can tell you this guy is an absolute tackling machine. He was clearly better than H.B. Blades, who was more highly touted, but Clint is a player and really brings a load when he hits you, you guys will love him. He was one of my favorite players at Pitt.Pitcock, in my opinion, was really the gem of this draft. Once you get past how funny his name sounds (Pitcock will explode; Pitcock can penetrate; Pitcock can hit the gap and push through, and more juvenile banter of the like), you realize that he could really contribute this season as a back-up DT. He is not a great pass rusher, but he can get in the backfield and stop the run. He tackles well, has a very high motor, and is always chasing the ball down. He'll really help this d-line, and allow John Teerlick the ability to rotate his DTs more.
- Once upon a time, the Colts had a great slot receiver named Brandon. Unfortunately, he got hurt... a lot. So, the Colts cut him. Now he's in Denver, and we wish him well (except against the Colts). All last season, the Colts worked without a slot receiver. Replacing Stokley was a key we decided upon in order for the Colts to repeat. This season, they'll have two options at slot receiver: Anthony Gonzalez and Roy Hall. Many folks in the know think Gonzo will be a better NFL WR than his teammate Ted Ginn Jr., who was stupidly picked #9 overall by Cam Cameron and the Dolphins. Gonzo works hard, runs great routes, and ran a 4.29 at the Combine. He's basically Stokley but not as hurt. And hey, if Gonzo does get hurt, he can stick himself in his little tent and heal faster:
Colts first round draft pick Anthony Gonzalez surfs for porn in his oxygen tent, designed to help him heal faster. Yes, this is an ACTUAL photo.
Folks, our #1 is so friggin' crazy about football, he sleeps in a pressurized oxygen tent in order to increase his ability to heal. Hall was drafted because of his potential. He's tall and fast, but has never proven himself. And he has no oxygen tent.
Development of the offensive line was a big key for many here. Well folks, I think the Colts agreed with you. Signing Rick DeMulling back from Detroit and trading up to get OT Tony Ugoh were two huge upgrades to the continued stability of this group.
Daymeion Hughes had to be different and spell his first name in the oddest way possible.
The one key I did not bullet was fix the special teams coverage units. Guys like Brannon Condren, Roy Hall, Clint Session, and the 7th rounder Keyunta Dawson could help this very shaky unit, but I can't make a determination until I start seeing some games. Not included in the keys is the need for more depth at CB with the departures of Harper and David. That too was addressed in the draft. Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden will replace Harper and David just fine. Depth was my concern, and I stress was because drafting Daymeion Hughes and Michael Coe solved our depth problem. Hughes could very well beat out Tim Jennings as the nickel corner, and Coe is considered a potential diamond. Both a tough, tackling corners. Dungy compared Hughes to Ronde Barber when he was drafted in Tampa Bay.
When all is said and done, this draft answered a lot of questions, and really placed this team in prime position not only to repeat, but to compete for years to come. The only area I'm a bit concerned about now is running back, but it is very possible the Colts will sign Kevan Barlow soon.
This was a masterful draft by Polian, and puts the Colts in the position they want to be in: Recharged and ready to repeat with fresh bodies and hungry football players.