Going into the draft, my prime concern was to find a franchise LT, followed by improving out special teams play, pass rushing depth, and short yardage offense. The Colts draft selections are as follows:
1 (31): Charles Brown, LT, USC - I was surprised and overjoyed to see Brown fall to me here, as LT is clearly the biggest need for the Colts this offseason. My decision was made much more difficult by the fact that Jason Pierre-Paul had somehow fallen to me as well, so there was really an internal tug of war between these two. In the end, I decided that LT is the bigger team need, and Brown better fit the team than Pierre-Paul, a boom or bust player who could end up providing little to no depth behind Freeney and Mathis. Plus, perhaps the biggest reason Brown won out is that his selection upgrades TWO positions once you shift incumbent LT Charlie Johnson to OG, his more natural position.
2 (63): Javier Arenas, CB/KR, Alabama - Lets face it: the Colts special teams unit has been below par for a long, long time. T.J. Rushing and Chad Simpson are not up to snuff as return specialists, and Rushing himself offers no value as a backup CB. Arenas, the most explosive return specialist in college football, will add a third dimension to the Colts next season, that of great special teams play. Plus (and this is where the second round value comes in) he excels in zone coverage, projecting as a nickel CB in the NFL, which is perfect with Kelvin Hayden, Jerraud Powers, and Jacob Lacey in front of him. In this passing leauge, you can never have too many DB's, especially with the way our secondary likes to get hurt.
3 (94): Toby Gerhart, RB/FB, Stanford - Oh the outcries upon making this pick. Most bemoaned it as a horrible choice at a position we have recently spent two first round picks on. This is true I suppose, but Gerhart is really being looked upon here as a short yardage specialist, but let's face it: Gerhart is the best between the tackles rusher in this draft. End of story. The Colts really don't have a runner who can really pick up those tough yards between the tackles. Gerhart is the player in this draft for that, and his attitude and temperment fit the Colts beautifully. He also provides outstanding depth behind Joseph Addai and Donald Brown, which should crate an explosive platoon of RB's. Plus, with about 8 third round rated DE's still available, it makes much more sense to wait until the 4th round to address DE depth.
4 (129): C.J. Wilson, DE, East Carolina - Wilson was second or third on my list when I looked at DE in the third round, and luckily he fell into my lap here at the end of the 4th round. Wilson fills the role left open by Raheem Brock's departure, a strong, relentless DE who can play outside on running downs and inside on passing downs, which, when paired with Freeney and Mathis on the edge, will be very scary. He has enough pass rushing skills to fill in for either Freeney or Mathis if one is injured.
5 (162): Rennie Curran, OLB, Georgia - Curran has the look of a prototypical Colts LB, but with more talent. The knock on Curran is his size, which the Colts don't mind in their LB's as long as you have the speed to make up for it. Curran has a knack for being able to slip under would-be blockers to hit his man in the backfield, which will translate well to the NFL game, and will be a big boost on our dreadful special teams unti as well.
7 (238): Shelley Smith, OG, Colorado State - A strong and quick guard who fits our blocking scheme like a glove. Has the potential to wind up starting on our OLine next season.
7 (241): Cody Grimm, S, Virginia Tech - Drafted primarily as a special teams superstar, Grimm is looked at by some scouts as too slow for a safety and too small for a LB. With 3 or 4 safeties above him on the depth chart, however, Grimm will only need to concentrate on using his elite reaction skills for what he excels at: special teams coverage, at which there are very few better players in this draft.
7 (247): Rahim Alem, DE, LSU - Alem provides the explosive pass rushing depth behind Freeney and Mathis. Wilson, drafted earlier, also provides depth at DE, but is more of a hybrid DE/DT in the Colts defense. Alem is a pure pass rusher who can be used to spell Freeney and Mathis. Willie Young was also considered here, as he is a great value pick, although his poor attitude ultimately wouldn't fit with the Colts whatsoever.