According to Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, this class of pass rushing prospects isn’t “as thick” as in previous years.
The Colts general manager spoke Thursday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis:
"“I think the old adage if you have 12 pass rushers, go get me 13,” said Grigson. “But you know, it’s easier said than done. The draft this year, there are some players. It’s not personally in my opinion as thick as you’d like. But those guys are at a premium. They go really high in the draft. The developmental guys, a lot of times they’ll have their warts.”"
Elite pass rushing prospects who seamlessly turn into superstar players such as Von Miller and Khalil Mack are always held at a premium and will be selected well before the Colts pick at #18 overall–if there’s even that caliber of pass rusher in this year’s class:
"“There’s different types of players,” added Grigson. “There’s guys that can get after the quarterback in a multitude of ways, but those pure edge rushers are the ones that command the big dollars. The ones that are in everybody’s first round mocks. Those are the guys that come to the forefront real quick.”"
Still, it’s possible that a talented, yet perhaps troubled pass rusher such as Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence could slide because of character concerns. Of course, having just released young pass rusher Jonathan Newsome after multiple marijuana offenses, the Colts may not want to go down that road again.
Still, even if the Colts don’t have the luxury of having Top 10 pick to select a bluechip elite pass rushing prospect, the team still has to have the ability to find impact pass rushers throughout the remaining draft–perhaps looking at developmental pass rushers and potential diamonds in the rough.
Something that Grigson and even head coach Chuck Pagano already know all too well:
"“I think everybody knows how important a pass rusher is, we’ve got to be able to build that. You do it through the draft for the most part. If you can get lucky and get a DPR or a role player here and there that can do some things for you.”"
It’s whether the Colts can actually find that caliber of pass rusher in the draft that will be key.