It's easy to look at Andrew Luck and immediately deem last years draft a success for the Colts. You'd be right, even if a little quick to judge. When you also think about the production that the team got from Dwyane Allen and Vick Ballard its easy to see why many consider what Indianapolis had a great draft. They finished 11-5, but only took 2nd place in the NFL. It was easy to look at the Colts as a feel good story, certainly the come back team of the year. After only having 2 wins before, seeing Peyton Manning leave town and Chuck Paganos health issues, it was refreshing to see the Colts be successful. Head coach Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson both enter their second season with the organization, as head coach and general manager respectively. They blew up this roster when they stepped in and have been building it the way they want. No one can argue with the success they have seen in their first year together and the star looks bright for the future. However, if the Colts hope to be able to take the next step and secure the AFC South, they are going to have to fill the holes they have.
Andrew Luck is going to be the face of the franchise. In only one season he has already restored hope to a team that won only 2 games the season before. One thing every quarterback needs to be successful is a good offensive line. The Colts have already added Donald Thomas and Gosder Cherilus through free agency, but that won't be enough. Those guys will likely fill in well, but the team still doesn't have the signature left tackle to go with their star QB. Anthony Castonzo has yet to earn the trust of the decision makers in Indy and he may be on the hot seat. If the draft offers potential for Grigson to get some good value from a tackle expect him to jump on it.
Lets not forget that when the new staff came in last year they brought a new defense with them. They did everything they could in one season but now they have more information about the guys and their roster. They are going to continue to phase out players that don't fit the new scheme and draft and build with players that do. Even though coach Pagano has his background as a coach in the secondary, if the front seven doesn't start getting the job done more the secondary won't be able to produce much anyways.
The only way a star player can really show his talent and shine is if he is surrounded by other great players. When Manning was in a Colts uniform he was throwing to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Luck saw some growth from T.Y. Hilton, who will likely continue to grow, and production from Dwayne Allen as well. Yet, another star threat on the outside would really give Luck the weapons he needs to succeed. Everyone knows this is a passing league and Luck has the talent to throw with the best of them.
The Colts have the 24th overall pick heading into the 2013 draft and they would be more than pleased if they are able to get their hands on a player like Keenan Allen. A big strong receiver at 6-3, 210 lbs. He comes out of California and in many ways is NFL ready. He is a strong hand catcher with a sudden burst of speed, and run after the catch ability. He physical skills will be a great compliment to what the Colts already have on the field. At California he also proved that he can line up in a variety of positions and still be successful. In the red zone he'll offer the possibility of a size mismatch and can even go downfield well. He lacks the blazing vertical speed, but can still get great position on the deep ball. If the defense doesn't roll a safety over the top most corners will have trouble containing him. His last season was slightly inconsistent, however most of that is due to quarterback play.
If the Colts are able to pick up Allen in the first round, they should go for it. WR is not their biggest position of need, but he is a good talent. They would also still be able to pick up quality talent on the defensive side of the ball later in the draft. Grigson and Pagano both have a huge boost of confidence after their success last year and Colts fans should too.