If you had one pick from the Colts’ draft in 2016 to do over, what would it be?
That’s the question that Pro Football Focus sought to answer for the Colts, and every other team, in a recent article suggesting the best do-over for each team. Obviously this is all just for the sake of discussion and won’t actually happen, but it shouldn’t surprise anybody what their suggestion was for the Colts: drafting safety Kevin Byard in the second round with the 57th overall pick instead of T.J. Green.
If it was safety help the Colts were looking for, Byard (Round 3, pick 64) would have been a better option. Green was raw coming out of Clemson, and it was evident as a rookie, as he ranked dead last among safeties with a 38.3 grade overall, struggling both in coverage and in the run game. Byard, on the other hand, showed the same strong coverage skills that he displayed at Middle Tennessee State, finishing at 77.5 in an impressive debut.
Byard wound up being drafted in the third round by the Tennessee Titans, seven picks later than Green was taken by the Colts. As a rookie he played in all 16 games and started seven of them, recording 58 tackles, a sack, and four passes defensed. Green, meanwhile, played in 15 games and started four of them, recording 43 tackles and two passes defensed.
Again, this shouldn’t really be a surprising selection by PFF. They really didn’t like the pick at the time for the Colts, ranking it as one of the worst picks of the draft, and then Green graded out as the worst-ranked safety in the NFL last year in PFF’s grading system. They clearly aren’t very impressed with the Colts’ young safety, and there admittedly hasn’t been much reason to be impressed yet. It was a very rough rookie season for Green. While that doesn’t mean the Colts should give up on him already (especially since he was viewed as a project player when the Colts drafted him), it does mean that he has a lot of work to do to improve.
The Colts drafted Green 57th overall after trading with the Packers, swapping second round picks and also gaining two additional picks (which the Colts turned into Antonio Morrison and Austin Blythe). After one year, Green is the obvious do-over candidate for the Colts, but the hope is that he’ll improve and take significant strides forward in his second year. Whether that actually happens or not, however, is very much up in the air.
So what do you think - is this suggested do-over a fair one for the Colts?