Ryan Grigson has proved his mettle in the front office ranks in a limited time as General Manager. Not so much in the more publicized maneuvers such as drafting Andrew Luck first overall or the signing of Head Coach, Chuck Pagano. Those moves were orchestrated, more or less, with owner Jim Irsay. Instead, it’s the addition of players like Jerell Freeman after going undrafted and playing the last two seasons for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the former University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders standout is currently tied for third in the league with 125 tackles.
Many critics have already labeled the acquisition of cornerback Vontae Davis for the Colts 2013 second-round pick and conditional later round selection. However, it is way too early to cast judgments less than one year in on an athletic, physical 24-year old still acclimating himself to his new surroundings.
The offense has certainly driven Indianapolis’ surprising season and it could be argued Grigson’s focus should focus on improving the defense
with the Colts 2013 draft, albeit limited, picks. Luck is far beyond his years in terms of commanding a huddle and quickly dissecting the bevy of defensive fronts he sees each week.
Regardless, the Colts need to provide him with more weapons. It would be foolish to assume Reggie Wayne, at 34, will repeat the startling resurgence he’s shown this season. T.Y. Hilton should build on his breakout campaign but the cupboard is pretty bare beyond this.
More pressing than adding a wide receiver should be an influx of talent on the offensive line and perhaps an fleet-footed, intelligent and dependable outside linebacker for their 3-4 defense. As tough as Luck is and as poised as he looks staying in the pocket, it must make Irsay and Colts fans cringe every time another defensive end or linebacker tees off on their prized signal caller.
1st round – Jonathon Cooper, G, North Carolina
Height – 6-3
Weight – 310
Similar to last year when both David DeCastro and Kevin Zeitler heard their name called within the first 32 picks, the 2013 NFL draft should also see two Guards selected in the first round. Many fans will likely yearn for Warmack but it’s unlikely he will be around when the Colts are on the clock sometime in the 20s. But don’t get it twisted, by no means is Cooper some type of consolation prize.
In fact, Cooper could end up as the better pass protecting interior lineman. The 2012 AP First Team All-American is a very well-rounded prospect with four years of starting experience after redshirting his freshman year.
Exceptionally nimble on his feet, Cooper demonstrates outstanding lateral quickness to help wall off a speed rusher taking an inside angle in his pursuit or create ample running lanes when pulling. Generously listed at 310 pounds, Cooper could stand to add another 10-15 pounds.
2nd round – Traded pick to Miami Dolphins to acquire Vontae Davis
3rd round – Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Mississippi
Height – 6-3
Weight – 240
Playing on a 0-8 team certainly didn’t help raise his profile any but the former defensive back-turned-linebacker was a dominant force in the Conference USA. Collins was highly productive this season racking up 92 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks while causing four fumbles. Very athletic with enough speed to shadow a tight end or cover a running back out of the flat.
Other needs for 4th round and free agency: WR, NT