If Ryan Grigson offered any hints in his pre-draft press conference Thursday, the biggest was this: if the Colts aren’t absolutely in love with the players available at No. 24 in the first round, they will not hesitate to trade back in an effort to stock their pool of picks.
Beyond that, the Colts GM offered few clues as to the team’s plans or how the Colts’ needs may have been re-prioritized in the wake of 10 veteran free agent signings.
“If there’s not a player sitting there at 24 that the room is not excited and we’re not high-fiving and things like that and we’re not even doing a little fist bump, we probably shouldn’t take that guy,” he said. “We’re going to probably look to trade out if there’s a player there we feel is just OK. We want players at that spot, especially in the first round, that are going to substantially help us get to our goal.”
The 24th pick has drawn plenty of high-fives and fist bumps over the last few years. Dez Bryant 92-10), Chris Johnson (2008), Aaron Rodgers (2005), Steven Jackson (2004), Ed Reed (2002) – and, of course, Dallas Clark in 2003 all have been impact players.
This year’s draft, which as Grigson put it is loaded with “trench players,” doesn’t appear to offer up much in the way of dynamic skill position talent. But if, for example, one of the better quarterback prospects is sitting at No. 24, there are a handful of teams that would be interested in moving up.
“If you look back at the last 10 years, when you guys leave here and Google it, there’s usually a pretty good player there,” he said. “I’m optimistic but again I always talk to you guys about doomsday scenarios and we’ll be prepared. If there’s a player there, you hope it’s a blue (elite prospect) but if there’s a sure-fire starter or at least an eventual starter that’s going to strengthen this team and fit the vision of winning championships than we’ll pluck him, we’ll take him.
“But if there’s just a guy there and we feel like if we had a two (second-round pick) then we can get this guy. That’s bad business. We aren’t going to do that. We are going to trade back.”
The Colts lack a second-round pick (traded to Miami last year in the Vontae Davis deal) and a fifth-rounder (sent to San Francisco during last year’s draft in the T.Y. Hilton deal). They did pick up one compensatory pick – the very last in the draft, meaning they’ll have Mr. Irrelevant for two years in a row.