The Indianapolis Colts have the 18th-overall pick in this year’s draft. General Manager Ryan Grigson should worry about assessing a team need rather than the ‘best player available’ strategy.
Tonight, the Indianapolis Colts and Grigson will have the opportunity to address one of the many team needs with the 18th selection in this year’s NFL Draft.
In the past, and most notably in last year’s draft, Grigson had preached a drafting strategy that involved selecting the best-overall player that was available rather than one that would have filled a hole on the roster. Last year Grigson bypassed defensive talent like Ronald Darby (cornerback) and Landon Collins (safety) for Phillip Dorsett 29th-overall, a speedy wide receiver from Miami.
The problem with the Dorsett selection was that Grigson ignored to address the defensive needs that had plagued the Colts during the 2014 season and instead chose a position that the Colts had a relative level of depth.
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This was shortly after the Colts had signed Andre Johnson during the free-agency period and had both T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the roster going into the 2015 season. Understandably, Grigson was looking to give quarterback Andrew Luck another weapon in the passing attack, but it could go without saying that a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball would have benefited the Colts more so than another receiver.
Making his appearance in 11 games for the Colts last season, Dorsett caught 18 passes on 39 targets for 225 yards and one touchdown. In Dorsett’s defense, Luck was sidelined for nine games last season due to injuries as the Colts cycled through three starting quarterbacks.
Now Grigson has the opportunity to get a solid contributor at No. 18. Many analysts have predicted Grigson to take Alabama center Ryan Kelly with the pick. Kelly would be an ideal fit for the offensive line and especially a position that was one of the weakest amongst the unit last season.
Out of Mississippi, pass-rusher Robert Nkemdiche would also be an ideal fit for a Colts team who struggled to get to the quarterback in 2015. Once regarded as a top-tier talent in this year’s draft class, Nkemdiche saw his stock slip after he was arrested for Marijuana possession during his junior year. As a result, many speculate that Nkemdiche will be a mid-to-late first-round selection and could even fall to the Colts at pick 18.
With only six total picks in the draft this year, it is very important that Grigson is smart with his selections. After remaining silent in free-agency this year, the Colts can’t afford an early round slip-up.
Be sure to follow Ink On Indy as we cover the 2016 NFL Draft for the Indianapolis Colts.