Colts Ryan Grigson Ranked as NFL’s 25th Best GM in 2016
According to Rotoworld’s Patrick Daugherty, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson suffered a steep decline at his front office position, falling from 11th to 25th in overall rankings:
"25. Ryan Grigson, ColtsLast Year’s Ranking: 11 Ryan Grigson is destined to end up the story of one player. The question is whether it will be Andrew Luck or Trent Richardson. Grigson began his career with the safest pick since Peyton Manning. Ever since, it’s been a long, strange trip. Three straight 11-5 seasons helped Grigson mask missteps like Richardson and Bjoern Werner, but the benefit of the doubt vanished with last year’s 8-8 campaign. You could argue it’s a miracle the Colts were as good as they were with Luck missing nine games, but an injured and absent Luck exposed Grigson’s roster for what it is: A top-heavy collection of players either much older or much worse than their quarterback. Grigson has struggled for impactful draft picks since a rookie class that included Luck, Dwayne Allen, T.Y. Hilton and Coby Fleener, and too often filled out his roster with veterans other teams were glad to get rid of. From T-Rich to Werner to Andre Johnson, he’s gotten far too many of his big decisions wrong. Luck got Grigson off to the best possible start, but the finish line is much further away than it should be four years into his golden goose’s career."
In Grigson’s defense, not many NFL teams could withstand losing their starting star quarterback for 9 games.
Also, his signing of Frank Gore was a solid move at running back. Through no fault of his own, Gore didn’t have a great season production wise, but he was a solidifying presence in the Colts backfield behind a woeful offensive line–the latter which falls firmly on Grigson’s shoulders.
Additionally, Grigson savvily signed veteran defensive end Kendall Langford, who started in all 16 games and tied for the team high with 7 sacks and was the Colts most valuable defensive lineman.
Not to mention, his signing of Dwight Lowery at a 1-year, bargain bin price was big, as the veteran safety started all 16 games for the Colts this past season–giving dependable production in the back of their secondary.
Still, there were other moves that clearly didn’t work out.
Most notably was the signing of veteran wideout Andre Johnson, who managed just 41 receptions for 503 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns after signing a 3-year contract before his release earlier this offseason.
Of course, no one can forget Todd Herremans either (or can they?). His performance was certainly forgettable, as the veteran offensive lineman was signed to shore up the team’s play in the trenches. Upon signing a 1-year, $3.5 million deal with the team, Herremans started the first two games for the Colts before being benched the remainder of the way until his release late in the season.
Meanwhile, the signing of veteran pass rusher Trent Cole was so-so in results. The 12-year veteran managed only 3 sacks, but he may have actually been better as a pass rusher than his sack total indicates. Specifically, according to ProFootballFocus (subscription), his +7.1 pass rush grade was the 18th best overall among all 3-4 outside linebackers. To put that in perspective, that’s right between the Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney and Green Bay Packers Julius Peppers respectively, which isn’t bad company by any means.
Otherwise, Grigson’s 2015 draft class grade has yet to be determined.
Grigson’s first two picks in the 2015 NFL Draft: wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (1st Rd) and cornerback D’Joun Smith (3rd Rd) suffered injuries that limited their rookie seasons.
However, the general manager hit a home run with defensive end Henry Anderson (3rd Rd), who was among the league’s top defensive rookies before his season-ending torn ACL suffered around midseason. Additionally, defensive rookies such as Clayton Geathers (4th Rd) and David Parry (Round 5) ended up playing key roles, making 2 and 16 starts respectively.
Overall, Grigson had some 2015 free agency hits, as well as some notable misses. The jury is still out out on his 2015 NFL Draft Class, as while Anderson could be a stalwart for years to come, Colts fans simply didn’t see enough of Dorsett or Smith last season because of injuries and depth.
The Colts did manage to finish 8-8 without Luck for 9 games.
However, the team will have to obtain increasingly better results from the NFL Draft going forward, as the Colts haven’t had overall great success as it relates to signing high-priced players in free agency.
By building through the draft, the Colts will have a much more sustainable model for long-term success.