The 2015 NFL Draft has come and gone, and the Indianapolis Colts finished having made eight selections. Grading a draft immediately after the fact is often pointless, as we've yet to see the players on the field whatsoever, and often immediate analysis proves to be wrong anyway.
But it's 2015, and while draft television might still wish it were 1995, this is the age of wanting to get things as fast as possible, and that includes draft grades. Nobody wants to wait a year or two (or more) to grade a draft class, they want to do so right away. And so we'll do just that, offering our initial grades for the Colts' eight picks, but keep in mind that we've yet to see these players on the field. With that said, however, here's our draft grades for the Colts' 2015 class.
Round one, 29th overall: Phillip Dorsett, wide receiver, Miami
This pick was immediately greeted with disappointment, disdain, and disagreement from Colts fans, and the most common grade given to the pick on our poll of Colts fans that night was an "F." And really, it's understandable as to why Colts fans might be upset, as they've watched the Colts get dominated defensively against the Patriots over the past two years and the sting of a 45-7 loss to the Patriots on national television in the AFC Championship game is fresh in their minds. It makes sense, as fans wanted defense and fans thought there were better options than Dorsett available.
At the same time, however, Phillip Dorsett is a good player. He's incredibly fast and a dynamic playmaker, just like what Ryan Grigson said the Colts needed entering the draft. He'll give them yet another receiving target for Andrew Luck and yet another guy who can take the top off of a defense, and he'll likely see significant time in the slot right away as a rookie - and will also be used as a return man. So let's make no mistake: Dorsett is certainly a good player.
Ultimately, the Colts drafted Dorsett because he was the best player available on their board, and I truly believe that they really like him. This wasn't just a case of them taking the best player on their board, it was also a case of them really liking said player. So while Dorsett wasn't the top player remaining for me at pick number 29, he was for the Colts and I respect them for sticking with their draft board. I don't think this is a terrible pick, as I think Dorsett is a good player.
Grade: B -
Round three, 65th overall: D'Joun Smith, cornerback, Florida Atlantic
The Colts traded out of the second round, moving down four spots to number 65 overall (the top spot in the third round) and swapping fourth round picks with the Buccaneers, a good trade for the Colts. The guy the team wanted all along was there still at 65, and that was Florida Atlantic cornerback D'Joun Smith.
Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson raved about him at their press conference on Friday night, and he's a guy that can come in and fill the fourth cornerback spot for the Colts in 2015, also providing insurance in case someone were to go down with an injury. This is a good pick for Indy, and it's clear that the team loves this guy.
Grade: B +
Round three, 93rd overall: Henry Anderson, defensive end, Stanford
With their third pick in the draft, the Colts drafted Stanford defensive end Henry Anderson, a move that was a great one for Indy late in the third round. Anderson is a guy who will likely play five-tech along the defensive line for the Colts and is a terrific fit in a 3-4 defense. He likely could help right away as a rotational guy and he has potential to develop into more. For a third round pick, this was a good move.
Round four, 109th overall: Clayton Geathers, safety, Central Florida
The Colts got their safety, as they use their first pick in the fourth round (the one they got in the trade with Tampa Bay) to draft Clayton Geathers out of Central Florida. He's the sixth member of his family to make the NFL but the first safety, and he looks to add depth to the position for Indianapolis. Starters Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery are both veterans, and the Colts were looking to add someone at the position in a weak draft class at safety. They got Geathers, who is a hard hitter but not a sure tackler. He's better against the run than in coverage, but should be a nice developmental player for Chuck Pagano and the Colts to work with.
Grade: C +
Round five, 151st overall: David Parry, defensive tackle, Stanford
The Colts traded up in the draft to add their second defensive lineman from Stanford in the draft, taking tackle David Parry. He'll likely play two-tech or nose tackle for the Colts, and is a good player against the run. There's a real chance that he could see decent playing time along the interior of the Colts' defensive front this season, and while he'd likely be only a rotational guy, for a fifth round pick that's pretty good. I like this pick for Indy.
Grade: A -
Round six, 205th overall: Josh Robinson, running back, Mississippi State
The Colts needed a running back, and rather than taking one earlier in the draft the Colts maintained a defensive emphasis and still ended up with a pretty good value pick. Robinson is an incredibly tough running back who can get it done both in the rushing and receiving game, and he's a guy to keep an eye on. He's drawn a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew comparisons in the draft process, and if he could even come remotely close to that for the Colts, he'd be considered an absolute steal. I like this pick a lot as well.
Round six, 207th overall: Amarlo Herrera, inside linebacker, Georgia
Herrera was incredibly productive for the Bulldogs during his time at Georgia, and he is likely best suited for a 3-4 defense at the NFL level. With that said, however, he's not very athletic and this is a pick that it's hard to judge his NFL career off of collegiate production. I think he'll compete for a spot on the Colts' roster in camp and stands a solid chance to make it since there's a lack of depth, but I don't think there's a lot about this pick to necessarily get excited about, even for a sixth round pick.
Round seven, 255th overall: Denzelle Good, offensive lineman, Mars Hill
This is a player that not many had even heard of entering the draft process, and this pick stumped even NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. Therefore, it's hard to get a good feel on just who Good is as a player, but from what I gather he was a player who excelled at Mars Hill and therefore caught the eye of the Colts' scouts, but he's very much a developmental offensive lineman and a flier by Ryan Grigson - just like Ulrick John was last year.
Grade: D +
You'll find some criticize this draft class for not addressing needs well enough. "What about offensive line?" they'll cry. "And what about a safety before the fourth round?" they may ask. "A running back in the sixth round?" might be another common refrain. Oh, and let's not forget the, "why take a wide receiver in the first round?" In a need-based draft, those questions are all very valid, and certainly a draft class has to at least factor in the needs. But what this draft class was characterized by for the Colts was talent. Not needs, but talent. The Colts consistently looked to the players that they liked, regardless of the need, and this was best seen with the pick of Phillip Dorsett in the first round.
The Colts did address some needs. They added a cornerback to fill the number four role. They added two good defensive linemen. They added a safety. They added an inside linebacker, a running back, and an offensive lineman. They absolutely addressed needs - but they did so by placing talent first and operating off of a "best player available mentality."
Overall, I think there's a lot to like about this draft class for the Colts. I think Ryan Grigson put together a very impressive group for the Colts, and I think that we could see some impact in 2015 but more importantly down the road, when the team won't have the cap space luxury that they've had in recent years. This was a draft very much based on talent rather than need, and long-term focus rather than short-term. Really, those are the best ways to approach a draft, and I think this was a very good group brought in by Grigson this year for the Colts.
Overall grade: B +