Thesis: Instead of looking at mock drafts, we should be looking at the behavior of Grigson’s coaches and scouts to decipher what he WANTS to do in the 2014 draft.
Mock drafters are strange beasts, but it is not their fault. In most cases, they are simply making picks that make sense when considering team needs. They have 32 teams to consider, and cannot devote a world of time to the scouting habits of each and every one.
The fan is also a strange beast, but a different kind strange of beast altogether. He only cares about his one team, and the other 31 can hang, for all he cares. He obsesses over a player he has seen on Youtube and dreams of the great things the dude could do in his team’s uniform. This disconnect provides for some entertaining comments in the comments section of mock drafts. Fans wonder how on earth the mock drafter can be so stupid. ("There is no way on Earth the Cowboys go tackle in the first round! You, sir, are an idiot.")
The Colts don’t have a first round pick this year, which cuts us out of many mock drafts (many of the big dogs prefer to do first round only). Mocking the second round is really tough, especially at pick 59, because the draft gets increasingly more difficult to predict the later it goes. It stands to reason, then, that we, the fans, should look at which POSITION will be targeted first. I know Grigson’s mantra is best player available, but his habits have shown us that he values one position more than any other at pick 59. Here are some observations:
1. 1. Pass rush appears to be the target at pick 59.
At the very least, we have talked to many pass rushers with a second round grade. In fact, we have talked to far more pass rushers with a second round grade than any other position group by a fairly wide margin. If you look at this list of players the Colts have been known to talk to in the 2014 offseason (courtesy of Colts Authority), you will notice a pattern of 2nd round pass rushers. Marcus Smith, Jeremiah Attouchu, Scott Crichton, Dee Ford, Preston Brown, Kony Ealy (now 1st round), DeMarcus Lawrence, and Carl Bradford have all, at one time or another, held a 2nd or early 3rd round grade by somebody. The other thing they have in common is that they have attracted the attention of the Colts at Pro Days or all-star games or other such scouting exhibitions. In the case of Marcus Smith, the Colts have met with him three times. They also met with Michael Sam, who had a 2nd round grade at the time (pre-revelation and bad combine). Jackson Jeffcoat is sometimes a 2nd, but more often a 3rd. That is a total of 10 pass rushers.
2. 2. Defensive Secondary has some 2nd round interest, but not as much as some would like.
Jimmie Ward spent some time with the Colts, as did Deone Bucannon. All 32 teams were at the Florida State pro day, so those two guys may be on the list as well. There are several lower round secondary prospects on the list, all of whom are CBs or Strong Safeties. We appear to have no interest whatsoever in the free safety position. (Well, Pagano attended Dion Bailey's pro day, but spent most of his time scouting the o-line, including Marcus Martin.)
3. 3. Only one WR and three OLs with a second round grade have drawn interest from Colts.
Most of the o-linemen and wide receivers connected to the Colts are 3rd round or lower. Devante Adams was the 2nd round WR. Jared Abbrederis and Donte Moncrief are usually 3rd round guys, and Cody Latimer is a 3rd round guy now. At the time we met with him, he was a 5/6 guy. There are many lower round WRs on the list. We met with guard Xavier Sua’Filo at the Combine, but he should be gone by 59. We also attended guard Cyril Richardson’s pro day, and I have already mentioned Pagano's interest in Marcus Martin.
4. 4. I might have written this entire article for absolutely no reason at all.
Apparently, Grigson and Pagano put Bjoern Werner through a private workout last year. Nobody knew anything about it. There are likely meetings this year no one is tweeting/writing about because they have no knowledge of it whatsoever. However, if I had to guess based on the code…
Round 2 - Pass Rush
Round 3- Secondary if one falls or the best Wide Receiver
Round 5- Offensive Line, Secondary or Wide Receiver (depends on Rd. 3 pick)
Round 6- Offensive Line or Wide Receiver (depends on Rds. 3 and 5 picks)
Round 7- whatever is left