Colts GM Ryan Grigson Scouting at Notre Dame’s Pro Day

Feb 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to NFL Media Senior Analyst Gil BrandtIndianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson was one of several league executives that attended Notre Dame’s pro day on Thursday:

"“Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were on hand for Notre Dame’s pro day on Thursday. That strong contingent of team reps included Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coachMike Mularkey, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn and coach Jim Caldwell, as well as offensive line coaches from the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions,San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans, and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.”"

Of course, Notre Dame has several highly touted prospects including offensive tackle Ronnie Staley, wide receiver Will Fuller, center/offensive guard Nick Martin, and linebacker Jaylon Smith.

The Colts could look to draft an offensive lineman or two such as Staley (if he slips) or Martin, as the team looks to shore up their offensive line for next season:

"“You have to find ways whether it be from acquiring better talent, smarter players, schemes, there’s a lot of different ways to protect your quarterback,” said Grigson at this year’s NFL Combine. “Obviously, drafting is a very key component to building an offensive line.”"

However, a linebacker prospect such as Smith could entice the Colts as well. Even though Smith may be out for the entirety of the 2016 season rehabilitating from a major knee injury, he could be a long-term inside linebacker solution for the Colts in time.

Nov 14, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) celebrates in the second quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) celebrates in the second quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Smith’s injury will likely cause the once projected first round pick to fall at least a few rounds, which means any team that selects him will likely be planning towards 2017 rather than the immediate future.

Having lost Jerrell Freeman to the Chicago Bears in free agency and with incumbent starter D’Qwell Jackson set to turn 33 years old in September, either way the Colts could use a long-term answer at the inside linebacker position going forward.

If he’s cleared by their doctors, it could be a very prudent move for the Colts to stash a first round talent like Smith for a season in the mid-late rounds of the NFL Draft in order to reap the long-term benefits at a later date.

Either way, while South Bend is only a short drive up US-31N from Indianapolis, there are several talented Notre Dame Fighting Irish prospects that could entice Grigson and the Colts in this year’s NFL Draft.