As the draft started out, things were looking pretty good for the Colts at the safety position. The Colts don't draft until the 59th overall pick (in the second round), and they clearly want a cover safety. There wasn't a single safety drafted in the first 17 picks, but as the first round ended, there were four safeties drafted in a span of 13 picks.
The New York Jets took Calvin Pryor out of Louisville at pick number 18. Then the Packers took Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at 21. The Cardinals added to their already impressive secondary by taking Deone Bucannon out of Washington State with the 27th overall pick, and then at pick number 30 the San Francisco 49ers (who signed Antoine Bethea this offseason) took Jimmie Ward out of Northern Illinois.
So... where does that leave the Colts, who clearly want a safety. As Ryan Grigson said in his pre-draft press conference:
"There's some good safeties in this draft. There are plenty of athletic safeties out there that can run. It's hard because our safeties are interchangeable, so to speak. That's how Chuck [Pagano] likes them so that you don't necessarily have a true ‘free' or a true ‘strong.' They should be able to be interchangeable but at the same time, we need safeties that can cover. We need safeties that can run because it's a balance. To give you guys some more insight, usually those safeties that can truly cover, they have corner background and you ask them to support in the run and there's only a select few that are good tacklers. Then you have the true box guys that come downhill like linebackers but you put them in space versus a tight end or a back or a receiver, you are going to get torched. There's never a perfect world but if you can find those safeties that can both cover and support the run, then you are doing pretty well."
The question remains now whether a safety good enough will still be there when the Colts pick 59th overall. Here are a few names at the position still out there as we end round one:
- Terrence Brooks, Florida State
- Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
- Brock Vereen, Minnesota
- Dion Bailey, USC
At least one of those guys will likely be there at 59 when the Colts pick, but would they be worth taking? That's a good question. I absolutely think that Brooks is and I even picked him to the Colts in my mock draft. If he's still there, I think that's a no-brainer. I also think Joyner would be a good pick there. If both of them are gone, I think that perhaps trading back to add more picks would be a good move.
Also, although I'm not sure I'd love the move, trading up to go get one of those guys (likely Brooks) absolutely can't be ruled out. Grigson has shown that he's not afraid to make trades, and the Colts need a safety. It's no guarantee and there's a good chance that Brooks could still be there at 59. The bottom line is that things got a lot more interesting as the first round ended, and now we enter day two of the draft really hoping that a safety will be there for the Colts. If not, do they go wide receiver? Offensive lineman? Trade back to gain more picks? I'd choose that last option, but we'll see. For now, let's just keep our fingers crossed that Terrence Brooks is still there when the Colts pick at 59. But one thing is for sure - it's time for Ryan Grigson to earn his money.