Grigson’s first draft class mostly shining

Authored by Stew Blake on Nov 30, 2012
Grigson’s first draft class mostly shining

As of Week 13, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson’s has a lot to be proud of, namely his first draft as the head honcho in the big leagues.
With the first pick, Grigson was gifted a no-brainer in Andrew Luck. Franchise quarterback search complete.
In round two and three, he used the “best player available” mentality and shored up an obvious hole at tight end, selecting arguably the two most talented prospects in the draft, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
Some people were confused by these picks, but I loved them. You essentially replaced Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme’s respective skillsets on the cheap, and you initialized a youth movement.
Fleener appeared to have the makings of a homerun pick after putting together a very impressive Pro Day, but throughout this season he has struggled with a shoulder injury.
Allen, on the other hand, has been very solid, gaining 385 yards on the year and getting in the end zone twice. His blocking has also been impeccable.
Rounds one and two considered, a general manager should hit on these picks. However, the GM that can find talent in the trenches of the draft, known as rounds 3-7, is the one that has the formula to build a contender.
If this year is any indication, Grigson appears to doing exactly that.
T.Y. Hilton arguably embodies Grigson’s success as a talent evaluator, coming out of the third round and proving to be an explosive playmaker with an immediate impact as a rookie.
Hilton’s breakout game came in Week Nine against the Dolphins, in which he topped 100 yards for the second time. But last week against the Bills, Hilton displayed his goods as an all-around football player, scoring two touchdowns with one coming on a punt.
Yes, a punt return for a touchdown, people.
Hilton may be small, but his immense speed and constantly improving route-running is what takes him to the next level. The Colts really needed speed when Pierre Garcon left, and Hilton provides it.
After trading up for the Florida International product, Grigson arguably nabbed his finest pick, after Luck, in his first rodeo.
In the fifth round, Grigson made his worst pick in nose tackle Josh Chapman. Chapman had suffered a severe knee injury in college and his injury woes only continue—he has yet to play a snap for the Colts.
But despite the questionable selection of Chapman, Grigson took LaVonn Brazill and the incredibly promising back, Vick Ballard.
Brazill hasn’t been much to write about, but Ballard has been impressive. The Mississippi State alum has stepped up in the absence of Donald Brown and now continues to challenge him for reps.
The Colts, surprisingly, have the pieces in place to form a running game with two backs featuring unique styles.
I don’t think it’s absolutely true that Grigson was simply looking to make his first draft one of signature offensive players, but more so taking the best available and building from there.
Next up? Defense, defense, defense.

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