[Editor's Note]: Please welcome Stephen Reed to Stampede Blue, covering the NFL Draft and Colts draft prospects. You can also read Stephen's stuff at True Blue Fans and on Twitter @Reed_StephenT -Brad
The NFL Draft is about a month away and mock drafts are projecting a wide variety of players and positions as potential selections for the Colts, outside QB of course. However, when others project certain players to the Colts, they only look at areas of need. It's important to consider not just the players on the field but also to break down GM Ryan Grigson's tendencies in how he evaluates talent and drafts players to get a more clear idea of what may or may not ensue when the NFL Draft rolls around in May.
2014 NFL Draft
First, Grigson has stated many times he loves the NFL Combine. However, not for the reasons you might initially think. Grigson loves when highly productive collegiate players do not test well, have bad interviews, or completely flop in general. It happened last year with Bjoern Werner and Grigson pounced. While the jury is still out on if Werner will ever develop into the pass rusher Grigson envisioned, it still speaks volumes about what Grigson prefers in a draft pick, high collegiate production. There are many other examples but let's leave it at Werner for now. Some quality players Grigson may target due to their poor Combine showing include:
- Jarvis Landry - WR - LSU
- Marqise Lee - WR - USC
- Will Sutton - DT - Arizona State
- Cyrus Kouandjio - OT - Alabama
- Adrian Hubbard - OLB - Alabama
Only a couple of the players on this list would likely be good "fits" for the Colts but all of them had very productive collegiate careers but have been "dinged" by many evaluators after post-season workouts.
Second, in the middle rounds Grigson seems to always take a chance on a player who was recently hit with the injury bug. Josh Chapman, Khaled Holmes and John Boyett are all players that come to mind who had major injuries in the final year(s) of college but showed enough talent for Grigson to take a risk to draft them. We'll find out more about Chapman and Holmes next year but the Boyett experiment completely flopped. A few current players who fall into the recently injured list include:
- Aaron Colvin - CB - Oklahoma
- Dominque Easley - DT - Florida
- Vinnie Sunseri - S - Alabama
- Dexter McDougle - CB - Maryland
- Cyrus Kouandjio - OT - Alabama
Outside of Kouandjio, most of these players would be worth the risk if available in Rounds 4 and beyond. Each was highly productive in college before being injured during their final year. It wouldn't be surprising to see at least one of them wearing a horseshoe next fall.
Finally, Grigson enjoys finding his own personal diamond in the rough, which basically means a small school prospect that may have flown a bit more under the radar. The best current example is T.Y. Hilton while others include LaVon Brazill and Montori Hughes. Some smaller school options Grigson may target at various points in the draft include:
- Pierre Desir - CB - Lindenwood
- Jordan Tripp - OLB - Montana
- Dakota Dozier - OL - Furman
- Jeff Janis - WR - Saginaw Valley State
- Walt Aikens - CB - Liberty
All of these players would be great options for the Colts as mid to late round selections. Once again, it wouldn't be surprising to see one, if not more, of these players on the Colts roster next fall.
When it comes to the NFL Draft, no one knows what is going to happen. However, knowing a GM's tendencies can at least give you a solid overall grasp of what players may or may not be drafted by the Colts in the NFL Draft.