It was more than two decades ago that Colts fans eagerly read the newspaper to find out who their favorite team had drafted. They had landed a hotshot QB in the first round, and then proceeded to draft some offensive pieces around him. Colts fans were extremely excited about the possibilities for the future of the team. Of course, the next few years were horrible disasters and the Colts got rid of the over-rated QB that they had drafted with the first pick in the draft, Jeff George.
It was more than a decade ago that Colts fans eagerly anticipated a brand new season with a newly drafted QB, and lots of new offensive pieces around him. The hope was for multiple Super Bowls. Of course, the Indianapolis Colts went on to win tons of games, and even made it to two Super Bowls. Then, the Colts released the legend, Peyton Manning, knowing that his best chance to win another Super Bowl before he retired was with another team.
And here we are again, in 2012, facing the same kind of scenario where Indy has drafted a QB with the first pick in the draft, and surrounded him with offensive pieces. Will they all pan out? Will some of them bust? Will they be just good enough to stay on the roster? Will they be superstars? None of these questions can be answered right now. In fact, these questions cannot be answered for at least three to four years (unless some of the players end up being cut before then or just completely lighting it up before then).
The problem with grading a draft right after it happens is that college success does not necessarily equal NFL success. There have been Heisman Trophy winners who didn't get drafted, and others who were highly drafted, but were out of the NFL within just a few years (Rashan Salaam, anyone?).
So, for the time being, Colts fans, be excited. In Andrew Luck, the Colts drafted the best QB in the entire draft, some say the best QB to be drafted in 29 years (John Elway, 1983). In Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, the Colts drafted the two best TEs in the entire draft. In T.Y. Hilton, the Colts drafted a WR who has shown some great speed and ability in college. In Josh Chapman, the Colts drafted a confident and extraordinarily tough NT to possibly anchor the D-line for years to come. In Vick Ballard, the Colts get a RB who averaged over 6 yards per carry against SEC competition (which is no small feat). In Chandler Harnish (Mr. Irrelevant), the Colts get a back-up QB whose college numbers are insane, but who also is very comparable to Andrew Luck in the way that he plays QB.
Am I excited about this upcoming season? Absolutely. Do I think that the Colts are going to contend for the playoffs? Being the Colts homer that I am, I say yes, absolutely! I've been saying "the Colts will win the Super Bowl this year" every year since 1985 (except last year...I was realistic that year).
I believe that the players that were drafted all have a very good chance of making the roster and contributing on a regular basis this upcoming season. I, for one, am very happy about the way the draft all worked out.
At the very least, Ryan Grigson gave us something we've not had for almost a year: a reason to be excited about the regular season games. For that reason alone, I give the draft an A+