Colts GM Ryan Grigson Holds Pre-Draft Press Conference
By Evan Reller
With just one week until the first round of the NFL Draft, teams around the league are holding their annual pre-draft press conferences. Today, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson covered a number of topics from the makeup of the current team to the need to find playmakers in this year’s draft.
With the team getting older in free agency and the cap room about to get a lot smaller, the Colts need to find quality players in this years draft. Luckily, they have nine picks to work with, four more than in 2014.
With most of the starting needs covered, at least for this year, the team can look to take one of the best players available with the 29th pick in the first round.
“Having the best player available mentality is the healthiest mentality to have,” Grigson said. “I feel like, for the most part, the roster looks pretty balanced. We have a few areas of concern, but you always have those.”
There are a number of players in this draft who have health or character issues and those are apparently weighing heavily with the team’s evaluation process.
“There’s a lot of things that factor, a guy can be off for character and its not just a big talent grab,” Grigson said. “You have to be pretty specific and a lot of times you really hope and pray that a guy falls to that spot. There are some players were hoping that happens with.”
The Colts defensive line has been an issue in the past, but Grigson was bullish on this years class.
“There are some quality defensive linemen in this draft,” Grigson said. “Long, athletic ones. Stout ones. I feel as many as I’ve seen since I’ve been here. If there had been more of these type players where I got here in 2012 that would have been ideal.”
Grigson also spoke about finding playmakers in this draft (I’m fairly certain every team is doing this) and getting future starters.
“If you want to get a bunch of backups in the fifth through seventh, that’s your prerogative, but we’re trying to get guys who are at least trending toward starters,” Grigson said. “I want playmakers. Chuck (Pagano) wants playmakers. We need playmakers.”
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Outside linebacker Bjoern Werner was also a subject of discussion. The former first round pick has not panned out as he was supposed to but Grigson still believes that he can be successful.
“We want to see him where he was midseason (last year),” Grigson said. “He was flying around, making plays. With him, it’s never been because of a lack want-to. He needs to develop his pass-rush repertoire more. He knows that. As far as making plays, he’s showing us he can make plays in space. He wants to be a great player and I think he will be.”
Grigson closed up by talking about Reggie Wayne and just how difficult it was to let him go after what he’s meant to the franchise and just over the past three years.
“It’s real hard. He’s one of the greatest ones to ever wear the horseshoe,” Grigson said. “I personally have a place in my heart for what he’s done. He helped bridge the gap with the new regime to get this young team to believe they could compete with anyone. He led the charge along with Robert (Mathis) and Cory (Redding) early on.
“It’s really tough to say goodbye. The hardest part of this job.”