In what I believe to be the most critical offseason the Colts have faced in memory, the moves Ryan Grigson orchestrates will determine our ability to become an elite team and Super Bowl contender. I think the real heavy lifting of talent procurement has to come in free agent signings, due both to the large pile of cash at hand, and a limited number of draft selections resulting from prior trades.
These acquisitions, if all sign with us, address three major areas of concern : Offensive Line; Defensive Front 7 ; Defensive secondary. And, I think all can be had for $35mil or a little less.
Now the Draft ;
1- DeAndre Hopkins- WR (Clemson) 6-1; 214; 4.4(40). - His analysis by DraftScout.com suggested he is the second coming of Reggie Wayne, and that's good enough for me. Hands, speed, toughness, route running all top shelf. Can separate and go over the middle. An excellent talent to groom and grow with Andrew Luck.
3- Baccari Rambo - FS (Georgia) 6-1; 211; 4.6(40) - Tough, athletic playmaker with excellent instincts, ball skills and a willing tackler that loves to deliver the big hit. Off-field issues (weed?) need addressing, but he no doubt has the skills to start early and compliment Bethea nicely.
4- Alvin Bailey - OG (Arkansas) 6-3; 312 ; 4.95(40) - Massive body, athletic enough to pull, nasty run blocker with skillset to be a decent pass blocker. In keeping with Grigson's philosophy that O-linemen ought not to start right away, Bailey could back up Reitz until such time he beats Reitz out or Reitz sustains his inevitable injuries.
6- Earl Wolff - SS (N.C. State) - 5-11 ; 209 ; 4.44(40) - Slightly under the radar player. Tough, instinctive playmaker. Excels in run stopping, but also is athletic enough to cover backs and tight ends in the slot. Has starting ability in the long-term, and an upgrade to special teams in the near-term.
7- Knile Davis - RB (Arkansas) 5-11; 227; 4.45(40) - Ankle injury has slowed him in 2012, but has power and speed to go with fine hands and good pass-blocking. This is a "flyer" pick to be sure. If he falls this far in the draft, he would be a cheap gamble with potential to be a nice addition to our stable of backs.
While the Colts may receive a compensatory pick or two, I have only dealt with the picks I know of at this point. I view free agency and the draft itself as complimentary modes of talent procurement . Veteran corners plus rookie safeties. Veteran Offensive linemen plus a talented rookie. Veteran Defensive linemen plus Chapman returning from injury. An offensive weapon with the 24th pick to round out Andrew's arsenal of weaponry and to grow into the future together. A "flyer" 7th round gamble on a running back.
If Grigson were to make a haul similar to what I have outlined, I would be content and believe the Colts were stocked sufficiently to compete at the very highest level. But, since I don't have a crystal ball, I know he will surprise me. And, I look forward to the surprises !
Good Sunday morning, fellow Colts fans !