The NFL Scouting Combine starts this week in Indianapolis and the Colts get a front row look at the 2016 Draft Class by hosting the event.
The Colts head into this season desperately needing to surround Andrew Luck with more talent. The Colts are lacking even average quality players at so many positions it is a wonder they have been able to win 11 games three of the past four years.
Over at Colts.com, Kevin Bowen was able to sit down with Grigson and talk about his approach with the Combine. The Combine certainly has its flaws, but it does allow teams the opportunity to sit down with prospects and get a good idea of not only what kind of player they are but their personality as well.
"The actual interview with the player we feel is incredibly important. It is where you find out how the player fits in so many ways from primarily a mental and character standpoint. Every year there is a guy who walks through the door that just brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm that is tangible and you make note of those types of strong interactions."
Grigson also put emphasis on the medical examinations that will take place this week with every player. What he wants to know is a player’s medical history and personality, the drills (everything seen on television) really don’t tell team’s anything they can’t find out from game tape.
"Medical is critical and sometimes it is very disappointing because I am no doctor and we have no choice but to trust our medical staff when it comes to taking a player we really like off our board. Again the interviews are where you try and get all your questions answered about any problem areas with the player on or off field. I’m just not a big fan of the field drills. I watch them but the environment isn’t a football game. It is in shorts and in a controlled setting so you can get fooled to a degree because some guys move different when there’s bullets flying."
Grigson also admitted that the team won’t change their Big Board much following the Combine, and that his primary focus is on game film (as it should be).
"We honestly don’t touch our board much after the combine. I feel that is where big mistakes can be made because you are getting farther and farther away from your initial grade which was primarily off the game film, school visit and live look. Now we do add and move some guys here and there due to guys running terrible, or a player testing off the charts, or for medical reasons."
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Owner Jim Irsay decided to double down on the tandem of Chuck Pagano and Grigson, but Irsay also noted that changes were going to have to be made this season. Both Pagano and Grigson have plenty of flaws and there was more than enough reason to fire both of them. Grigson can make Pagano’s job much easier if he actually manages to load the roster with some talent. That part of the equation starts this week.
To say Grigson’s evaluation process has been flawed would be an understatement. His first round picks have been atrocious (and no, he doesn’t get credit for taking Luck) and he’s made his fair share of bad trades as well.
The Colts are going to change up the roster in the coming weeks (expect a high volume of cuts) and have to start skewing younger while also spending their money more wisely. Grigson has been on a spending spree the past few years in free agency, and that simply can’t happen anymore (not with Luck’s impending contract).
This is a draft that the Colts have to nail, if not for 2016 then for the years after. While their board might not change much after this week, the Colts should be paying extra attention during the Combine with so much riding on 2016.