What did we learn about the 2008 NFL Draft and all those mocks that I showed you over a two month period? Well, that I'm a lot better at picking who the Denver Broncos wanted in the draft than the Indianapolis Colts. DT Carlton Powell, CB Jack Williams, and OC Kory Litchensteiger were all drafted by the Broncos from rounds 4-6. While sitting in Radio City as round 5 was winding down, TheSportsGuru was lamenting the Broncos had not drafted a DT. With both Williams and Lichtensteiger taken, I joked that Carlton Powell would get drafted next by Denver.
Sure enough, he was.
So now I am convinced Mike Shannahan reads this blog, and is getting scouting advice from it. This means I have helped a rival team get better. I'm sorry, Mr. Polian. I'm so, so sorry.
Back to reality, it is no surprise that people are already giving the Colts a "C" grade for the draft? But, regardless of the silly and useless "grade," everyone seems to believe that taking Mike Pollack was a coup at pick #59:
There's a reason why coach Tony Dungy and general manager Bill Polian have had such a successful tenure in Indianapolis. They're always thinking one, maybe even two, steps ahead of everyone else. Without a first-round pick (they traded it to San Francisco last year to get tackle Tony Ugoh), Dungy and Polian didn't try to make up for it by reaching for an immediate need in the second round.
With the No. 59 overall pick, they drafted Arizona State center Mike Pollack, who really was the best player on the Colts' draft board. The Colts already have a very solid center in Jeff Saturday, but he is getting older.
The beauty of this move is Pollack will get to spend a season learning from Saturday and the Colts won't have to draft a center next year.
Already on the Colts website, Pollack is listed as a OG. Jamey Richard out of Buffalo, who also played OC and was drafted in the 7th round, is listed as a general o-lineman, and may get moved to OT, OG, or whatever. Only Steve Justice, OC out of Wake Forest, is listed as a back-up center.
Going into the draft, we identified several specific needs the team had to address before the start of the 2008 season. It seems that in this draft, Bill Polian also saw those needs and did his best to address them. Those needs were:
- Back-up running back (Mike Hart, Round 6, Michigan)
- Pass rushers (Marcus Howard, Round 5, Georgia)
- Wide receiver and returner (Pierre Garcon, Round 6, Mount Union)
- Solid #2 tight end (Jacob Tamme and Tom Santi, Rounds 4 and 6, Kentucky and Virginia)
- Depth on the offensive line (they drafted three friggin' lineman, including one with their firstpick in the draft)
So, just like that, the Colts have addressed pretty much every need they had going into the 2008 season. The question now is can these guys come through. The Colts are also doing their normal thing post-draft, signing several rookie free agents. They recently signed Rudy Burgess, WR out of Arizona State.
So, while our team didn't quite get the flashy Chris Johnson or the explosive Matt Forte', they did what they always seem to do: Quietly OWN the draft, filling needs and stocking up on quality players. More fallout on the 2008 draft throughout the day.