One of the coolest things about being a Colts fan (and a Colts writer) is that during the season in most years the draft is a thought far in the back of many minds. After all, there's the hope every year in Colts Nation that the team will be picking 32nd in the draft the following year. As a general manager, however, you can't just put off the draft prep until later, though, and last night featured a great college football matchup that drew the attention of many GMs throughout the NFL - Florida State vs. Louisville.
Despite an NFL game going on at the same time, many football fans tuned in to the college matchup, which was an incredibly exciting game that saw the nation's number two team (Florida State, for those of you not paying attention) come back from a 21-0 deficit to win the game in the fourth quarter. As such, several NFL general managers and teams were represented at the game last night, including Colts general manager Ryan Grigson.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Close to a dozen NFL GMs attended last night's FSU-LOUISVILLE game to scout all the talent. Here's the roll call... <a href="http://t.co/4qAZeXEGeb">pic.twitter.com/4qAZeXEGeb</a></p>— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/528149639334068225">October 31, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Here's the list of those also in attendance on Schefter's list: Ruston Webster (Titans GM), Rick Spielman (Vikings GM), Tom Donahoe (Eagles senior football advisor and former NFL GM), Martin Mayhew (Lions GM), Trent Baalke (49ers GM), Kevin Colbert (Steelers GM), Ray Farmer (Browns GM), Bill Kuharich (Browns executive), Tony Khan (Jaguars Senior VP), and Nick Caserio (Patriots Director of Player Personnel). According to Sports Illustrated's Pet Thamel, there were 34 scouts in attendance as well. Also per Schefter, there was quite a bit of potential NFL talent on display.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>May not be a bowl game, or any game this season, with as much draftable talent as tonight's Louisville-Florida State game, per NfL exec.</p>— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/527879982451032064">October 30, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
There certainly are a number of players from both schools that could be interesting NFL players. From Florida State, there's quarterback Jameis Winston, wide receiver Rashard Greene, tight end Nick O'Leary, offensive linemen Cam Erving, Tre' Jackson and Josue Matias, defensive linemen Mario Edwards Jr. and Eddie Goldman, and cornerbacks Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams are all among a number of players who are very intriguing NFL prospects. As for Louisville, wide receiver DeVante Parker, running back Michael Dyer, tight end Gerald Christian, center Jake Smith, defensive ends Lorenzo Mauldin and Sheldon Rankins, and safety Gerod Holliman are among the potential NFL prospects. Obviously, for a mid-season game (and a Thursday night one, at that), that's a lot of potential NFL talent, so it's no surprise that many NFL executives were in attendance.
So who might Ryan Grigson have been looking at specifically? A lot of the positions mentioned above are areas where the Colts could use help. Specifically along the offensive line (depending on how the younger guys continue to progress for the Colts this year), defensive line (depending on how some of the players do and on whether Cory Redding will decide to retire this offseason), and secondary - those are likely positions the Colts could be targeting in the draft, as well as linebacker. No, Grigson wasn't there to scout Winston, but there were several others he's likely interested in. And in a game with so much potential NFL talent on display, it was likely a Thursday night well spent for Grigson just two hours south of Indianapolis.