NFL Draft Grades: The 2010 Draft for the Indianapolis Colts

In general, draft grades are dumb. But, like the hypocritical schmuck that I am, I present to you my draft grades for the eight picks the Indianapolis Colts made in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Why make draft grades if they are "dumb?"

Well, aside from the fact that I enjoy second-guessing the future-Hall of Fame personnel director of our beloved organization, draft grades are good because they kind of hold me accountable to my opinion. This way, next year, when I get pissed that Bill Polian takes another injury-prone corner in Round Three, all of you can remind me that I didn't like the Jerraud Powers pick in 2009 either.

(Of course, I could counter that very few of you liked the Powers pick yourselves. But, hey, no one but Peyton is perfect)

The point here is that it is kind of my job to put myself out there and let my opinions be judged for nothing more than what they are. And, if I'm wrong, I take my lumps. I'll let you in on a little secret though: When I'm wrong about a pick, I'm actually quite happy. I never like to see us select a bust, and I always like it when players I seem to dislike end up becoming good.

So, without further annoyance (too late), after the jump are my lovely Colts draft grades for 2010.

1. Jerry Hughes - DE - TCU

Bill Polian stated Thursday night that Hughes was the last player left on their board graded as a first rounder. It is fortunate then that the Colts were able to secure Hughes at pick #31, and that his skills fit a big need on defense. I nearly jumped up and cheered on the draft floor when they announced this pick. Grade: 3.8, A
2. Pat Angerer - LB - Iowa

Angerer fits what the Colts like and look for in a linebacker. Aside from his physical gifts of speed and strength, he was a leader on the field at Iowa. My issue here is taking Angerer in Round Two was a reach. Guys like Charles Brown, taken immediately after Angerer, were still on the board, and o-line was the bigger need. Grade: 2.7, C
3. Kevin Thomas - CB - USC

Awful pick, and it suggests that Polian's poor decision-making in the third round has returned. Last season, it was thought that Bill might have broken the trend with Jerraud Powers. With Thomas, questions about his durability, toughness, recovery speed, and tackling make him a puzzling selection in Round Three especially with guys like Akwasi Owusu-Ansah still on the board. I will be very happy if or when Bill Polian proves me wrong on this pick. But, right now, it smells of bust. Grade: 2.0, D
4. Jacques McClendon - OG - Tennessee

The Colts finally go guard in Round Four, and they take a BIG dude in McClendon who is also a pretty smart cookie. McClendon is earning his Master's Degree very soon, which is a feat more impressive than anything done on a football field. That said, as a player he's stout, tough, and continues the trend of the Colts looking for bigger players on the o-line. Grade: 3.3, B
5.  Brody Eldridge - TE - Oklahoma

Love the pick. Eldridge is, for all intents an purposes, a blocking fullback for short yardage situations. He's so big, strong, and versatile that he played guard and center in college at OU in addition to playing blocking TE. He was a team captain at OU. Tenacious blocker. I like the new direction in going for tight ends who can block a bit more than catch. Grade: 3.5, A-
7. Ricardo Mathews - DE - Cincinnati

This man is the replacement for Raheem Brock, who was himself a 7th rounder that was used as a "power end" at DE and brought inside on pass downs at DT. Colts plan to create a specialized role for Mathews on defense. Should be interesting. Grade: 3.3, B
7. Kavell Conner - LB - Clemson

A "fly around, run-and-hit guy" as described by Polian, Conner fit the mold for Colts linebackers who play fast and physical. He needs to work on his recognition skills, but he has all the speed and quickness needed to stay on the roster. Grade: 3.3, B
7. Ray Fisher - CB - Indiana

Absolutely love this pick. One day after Bill Polian told everyone that there were no dual special teams returners left in Rounds 4-7, he drafts a dual special teams returner in Round 7! Oh, you sneaky red fox, you Bill Polian! The added bonus is that Fisher, while under-sized, can still cover. He can play gunner on special teams too. Versatile kid who can potentially make a real difference in several areas. Grade: 3.7, A

Final Draft GPA: 3.2, B

I think a "B" is pretty fair for this crop. Rounds Two and Three really bring the whole thing down a notch, but the Hughes pick and the selections in Round Seven add some excellent depth and personnel options to all three areas of the team. As always, Colts drafts aren't "sexy." They seemed to be the only team that didn't get involved in a trade over the draft's three days. The Colts just quietly go about their business, plucking quality players in later rounds and developing them into significant contributors.

That said, here's a nice photo I took from my seat during one of the Colts third round draft selection:

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