Yesterday the Indianapolis Colts were on the clock for the first time in this year's NFL Draft and they selected two good players at two positions of need: offensive lineman Jack Mewhort out of Ohio State in the second round (59th overall) and wide receiver Donte Moncrief out of Mississippi in the third round (90th overall).
Last night after the two selections, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano appeared before the media and talked about their two picks on the second night of the draft.
On Jack Mewhort, here's what they said:
Grigson mentioned how Mewhort was a center in high school, which he acknowledged is "unique" for a 6-6 guy. He called Mewhort a player with "really good film" who can play "multiple positions" - including both guard spots and tackle. The Colts were very impressed with him at the Senior Bowl and that is where they really realized that he was a guy they wanted to take. Said Grigson:
"We've really legitimately had him earmarked for a long time. We're really happy we have him - I think he brings versatility, toughness, strength, played at a high level at a high level program where they're used to winning so I think he fits our culture very well."
Pagano too stressed Mewhort's "position flexibility," but when prodded about which particular position he will play Pagano said that "it'll figure itself out" and that the Colts will figure out where he's most needed. "He has played inside, he has played center - we feel like we got great value," Pagano added while saying that "he's a dang good football player." Pagano also said of Mewhort:
"He's big, he's tough, he's smart, he loves football, fits our culture, fits our environment, he'll be great in our locker room, he's a horseshoe guy, and what I love is he's got nasty, he's tough, and you know you gotta have that on the offensive line. Extremely excited to have him on board."
As far as why the Colts took Jack Mewhort, Ryan Grigson said the position flexibility was huge and that since it's so easy to have a lack of consistency along the offensive line in the NFL it's important to have smart guys who can play multiple positions - which is exactly what Mewhort is. Pagano also mentioned how the Colts have several interior offensive linemen still recovering from injuries and trying to get back to 100 percent, namely Donald Thomas, Lance Louis, and Hugh Thornton. And as far as protecting Andrew Luck goes, Pagano said that, "as long as he's healthy and upright and he's got great protection and enough weapons around him, we'll probably be here a long time." Therefore, protecting him was very important.
On Donte Moncrief, Ryan Grigson said that in regards to the Colts looking to the future, "have to always, but at the same time he was one of the highest rated guys on our board." He mentioned Moncrief's size, speed, production in the SEC and the fact that he's an underclassman as reasons the Colts really like him and also added that he averaged 16 yards per catch, blocks, scores touchdowns, and while he does still have things to learn, "you can't teach 6-2 1/2, 220 [pounds], runs 4.3 [40 time]. And you see it on the film. We're excited about him - and he's a worker too." Grigson expanded on that worker theme too, saying that he is a "great kid" who will work and learn and who has "tremendous upside" and is a "very stable young man." Grigson said that, "he was just the guy that we thought fit a lot of the traits we're looking for." He said that, "our scouts really liked this guy," adding that they all had "really high grades on him."
"Thank goodness these guys fell to us," Grigson said, adding that "we feel like they have tremendous value." He said that, "This is a team effort - that's what feels good about this," as everybody was on board with the picks and that, "When our picks came our guy was there both times." He did mention that "if they would have went much higher we'd have never batted an eye," showing that the Colts both thought very highly of these guys. He said that plan A was their guy (Mewhort), plan B was that they had someone rated as the same level at a dfferent position, and then plan C was to trade away the pick. If they got to plan D, Grigson joked, they'd have had to figure something out pretty quickly.
The bottom line, as Ryan Grigson said, is that, "the whole reason you stack a board is so that you follow it, and we did again - so we feel good."