The 2013 Indianapolis Colts have yet to play a regular season game, and already general manager Ryan Grigson's draft haul from April is looking pretty rough, to say the least.
On Tuesday, Grigson waived his 6th round draft pick in 2013, Oregon safety John Boyett. Boyett got himself arrested Monday for public intoxication and resisting arrest, and rather than give Boyett any sort of second chance, the Colts waived him from their reserve/NFI list.
Also waived this past weekend were 7th round picks Kerwynn Williams and Justice Cunningham. Cunningham was the "Mr. Irrelevant" selection in this year's draft. Williams was later signed to the practice squad while, it seems for now, the Colts have no plans to bring back Cunningham.
In addition, 4th round pick Khaled Holmes didn't stand out much in preseason. He was hobbled by an injured ankle, which he aggravated in training camp. Preseason tape study of 5th round pick Montori Hughes is mixed, though Hughes isn't expected to see many snaps in 2013 because veterans like Cory Redding, Ricky Jean Francois, Aubrayo Franklin, Fili Moala, and Josh Chapman are all playing in front of him at the defensive end and nose tackle positions.
And then there is Bjoern Werner, the team's first round selection, drafted No. 24 overall. While Werner seems to have talent, he was unable to beat out Erik Walden as the starting outside linebacker opposite Robert Mathis. Walden, a run-stuffer with limited pass rushing skills, is someone a first round pick should beat out.
From our observations during preseason, Werner has struggled mightily adjusting to the 3-4 outside linebacker position. He's getting run over on early downs, and he lacks burst off the line while rushing the passer from a stand-up position. Werner played defensive end almost exclusively at Florida State, but, when he was drafted, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano praised Werner as an "edge-setter" and pass rusher from the OLB position.
Since then, Pagano's tune has changed somewhat. Werner is now someone who has "got a long way to go" in his transition, words that are not terribly encouraging considering that Werner was drafted to, essentially, replace Dwight Freeney.
The positive with Werner is that, when he's played defensive end, he's shown good burst off the line and some strong pass rushing moves. However, that's not the position Werner was drafted to play. Indianapolis' recent acquisition of outside linebacker Cam Johnson from the 49ers suggests the team is not 100% confident in Werner's ability to transition to 3-4 backer this year.
Of the entire 2013 draft haul, only 3rd round pick Hugh Thornton has shown consistent promise. He played very well in the team's third preseason game against the Browns, especially on passing downs. However, despite this, all signs indicate that Pagano is more comfortable with veteran Mike McGlynn starting at right guard.
Obviously, with the exception of Boyett and maybe Cunningham, the jury is still out on whether these rookies will have a positive impact for the Colts in 2013. However, the early reviews overall are not good, and for a team whose owner expects big things from in 2013, that's not a good sign.