It may not seem like it right now, but the Colts went with the best player available when they took Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Well, at least that was the opinion of Colts' general manager Ryan Grigson. In his press conference late Thursday evening when talking about the pick, Grigson said that, "we stick to our guns when it comes to the best player on our board." A little bit later, Grigson reiterated that, "he was higher than anybody else on our board" left at pick number 29.
A week before the draft, Grigson had mentioned how the Colts needed playmakers and how they were likely going to take the best player available. So based on that criteria, the pick of Dorsett makes sense. He's incredibly fast and definitely fits that "playmaker" mold, and Grigson mentioned tonight that Dorsett was the best player left on their board.
If that's truly the case, then it helps the pick to make a little bit more sense. Wide receiver wasn't a need for the team, but when drafting, teams also need to look down the road and figure out what the best value is. If that best value is wide receiver, then that's who they'll take. Most of the time, this is a very good strategy.
For a team like the Colts, however, their fans are anxious. They've been completely dominated in three straight games against the Patriots, including an embarrassing 45-7 road loss in the AFC Championship game this past January. The team has made a lot of moves in free agency this offseason, including signing Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and Trent Cole, and that raised expectations even higher than they already were. Clearly, the expectations for 2015 for the Colts is the Super Bowl, and fans and the Colts both know that to do that likely means to go through the Patriots. So with a number of intriguing defensive options available at pick number 29, the Colts went with a wide receiver.
It's absolutely understandable why fans are upset. And I'm not particularly fond of the pick either. But I can see the reasoning behind it, and while I don't agree with the pick, the Colts stuck with the best player available on their board - which should at least count for something.
Ultimately, the Colts' selection of Phillip Dorsett isn't very popular. And tonight's press conference seemed an awful lot like Ryan Grigson trying to justify the pick and keep the fans from freaking out, as he kept mentioning that "we have eight more picks." They do, and so keep watching and paying attention to what the Colts will do in the draft. But if the first round was any indication, the Colts are going to go with their best player available, even if it's not a popular pick. And if for nothing else, they at least deserve credit for that.