CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 5: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 and tight end Coby Fleener #82 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrate a touchdown in the third quarter on November 5, 2011 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon. Stanford won the game 38-13. (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)
The Colts have a defensive-minded head coach and are in the midst of switching to a 3-4, but that’s clearly not enough to scare Ryan Grigson away from satisfying his offensive cravings. As you know, this is Grigson’s first official rodeo and it will likely be the one he is remembered for.
But before we bring out the pitchforks and/or drink ourselves into a hate-driven stupor, let’s try to take a reasonable look at the selections we’ve seen thus far. Better yet, let’s talk about what they will bring to the field in 2012.
Stanford tight end Coby Fleener and Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen – Everyone was expecting Fleener at No. 34 and absolutely no one was expecting Allen at No. 64. I’ll be the first to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with picking Allen, specifically because I thought there was some great value at CB to be had with this pick. However, trying to rationalize this decision really isn’t that difficult to do.
Luck has made his collegiate career off of utilizing two (sometimes three) tight ends in a highly effective offense at Stanford. And as we’ve seen with the offense-heavy Patriots, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have absolutely steam-rolled opponents because of the versatility and depth that they bring to the position. Bruce Arians has a clear vision for this offense and I think we can all agree on that. I also think it’s clear that if you’re drafting Andrew Luck, you’re going to throw the ball. And what’s even clearer is this: If you’re going win in this league, you must throw the ball. So why not give your new franchise quarterback his ultimate security blanket—the draft’s two best tight ends?
Yes, there are more glaring needs for the Colts, but reaching will likely stick you right back in the same position next year. The value of this pick is what sold Grigson and he simply took the best player available. Personally, I would have gone with Trumaine Johnson or Josh Robinson, but we got Allen and I understand why.
Florida International wide receiver T.Y. Hilton – The Colts lockdown a productive burner who will perfectly fit in the Arians’ mold. Hilton also gives you a legitimate threat on special teams that Colts fans have been dying to see for years. Finally! Hilton is by no means a big body (5’10", 183), but as talents like Victor Cruz and DeSean Jackson have proven, size is not always a requirement to be successful. These are both small wide outs that have enjoyed immense success due to their speed and ability to make plays after the catch. Also like Cruz, Hilton works very well out of the slot. Yes, I know that we have Austin Collie and I love him too, but there’s nothing wrong with adding some depth and much-needed speed.
The only thing that makes me scratch my head is how we landed him—did we really have to swap our fourth and give up a fifth-round pick? No. He would have been there at No. 97.
Some will adore these picks and some will hate them, and that’s the beauty of the draft. I, however, reside in the middle. I was thrilled with the selection of Fleener, but I can also live with Allen and Hilton.
As for day three and the Colts’ six remaining picks, let’s just hope that a few of them contribute to the defensive side of the ball.