By Drafting Dorsett, Colts Ignore Defense Yet Again


The Indianapolis Colts turned many heads on Thursday night, when the team opted to select Miami Hurricanes wideout Phillip Dorsett with their 1st round pick. Many draft experts and fans had pegged the team taking either a defensive player or an offensive tackle, but the Colts did what they’ve seemingly always done in the “Andrew Luck Era”, draft yet another offensive player in the first round:

This isn’t a knock on Dorsett, who’s a talented wideout in his own right. He is an explosive wideout, who can really separate down the field. In fact, he’s even drawn comparisons to the Colts very own T.Y. Hilton. His blazing forty-times of 4.29 and 4.27 were something to behold, and he even boasted an impressive vertical jump of 38 inches at his pro day. Dorsett finished with 36 receptions for 871 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Hurricanes, including an whopping 24.2 yards per reception average.

The 5’10”, 185 pound playmaker figures to become the slot wide receiver between T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson in 3-wideout formations. Of course, his addition may very well then relegate promising second-year wideout Donte Moncrief to the 4th wide receiver on the depth chart, which seems like a waste of talent.

No one’s discounting that Dorsett can help the Colts offense next season in giving them another dynamic wideout who can stretch the field. However, their defense simply got manhandled by the New England Patriots last season on two separate occasions, and adding a 3rd wideout does nothing to address that side of the football’s glaring holes.

Sep 1, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (4) warms up before the first quarter of play against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John

When Chuck Pagano was hired and Andrew Luck was drafted back in 2012, Colts owner Jim Irsay talked of building a team that was complete on both sides of the football. For all of this talk of “Building the Monster” and a “smashmouth” identity, it’s starting to look like the “Star Wars” era of Colts football all over again. Only this time, it’s Andrew Luck and not Peyton Manning that is surrounded by a stable of offensive playmakers with little to no defense backing him up.

The Colts really can’t hold Chuck Pagano accountable to build a strong defense, when they’re not investing any special talent on that side of the football. No one can bake an award-winning cake with inferior ingredients. Right now, the team is doing a major disservice to itself because is a 3rd or 4th wideout really going to help the team more than a starting safety, defensive lineman, or linebacker could’ve? Is that why the Colts were blown out by the Patriots?

Alabama’s Landon Collins and Arizona State’s Damarious Randall were still available at safety, so was Texas Malcom Brown along the defensive line. Not to mention, the talented yet troubled pass rusher Randy Gregory from Nebraska was also there for the taking.

The only silver lining of this is that not only is Dorsett a really dynamic and explosive playmaker, but General Manager Ryan Grigson has shown a special knack for drafting productive wideouts. As the former Director of Philadelphia Eagles Scouting, he helped draft both DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin for his old team.  With the Colts, he’s drafted T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief in the 3rd round of their respective drafts, who’ve both been successes. He may have found another one in Dorsett.

That being said, the Colts really needed help on the defensive side of the ball, and ignored it. Yet again.

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