INDIANAPOLIS – Ryan Grigson was very direct this past February when he said interviews done at the combine can be of great value come draft day.
Grigson’s contention was counter to what some in his position state when they say combine attendees come with pre-packaged answers to the degree where interviews yield little value.
“We grabbed him at the combine just by chance,” said Pagano. “He was standing there, we grabbed him and pulled him in. We didn’t have him for a formal (interview). We had a few minutes in between (other ones), and this guy just blew us away in about a two-minute interview.
“You could tell that this guy was very, very passionate about playing this sport, playing football, and what he could bring to the table.”
Indianapolis selected Boyett in the sixth round. Overcoming knee surgeries, Boyett should be ready for the start of training camp.
The result of the quickie interview was a matter of one of Grigson’s men – area scout Dave Razzano – doing weeks of study and having his eyes peeled for the moment.
“These guys that we draft, for instance the area guy for John Boyett, Dave Razzano, he grabbed him at the combine and yanked him in there when he had a five-minute lull,” said Grigson. “If he (Razzano) wasn’t beating the bushes like that and wasn’t passionate about his job, we might not have made that connection with Boyett like we did.”
Razzano is one of six area scouts employed by the Colts. They are assigned to as many as 50 school in geographic areas, and the work they do and relationships they build are essential in feeding new talent into the organization.
Grigson performed that role earlier in his 15-year NFL career. He seeks scouts who share the same passion as he does, and he urges them to speak their convictions when they come across individuals who stand out.
It takes weeks away from home to do it. It means long hours, arduous travel and personal and professional interaction when representing the Colts on a campus.
“It’s all about beating the bushes, working your tail off, outworking the other scout and this (Boyett’s drafting) was a by-product of it,” said Grigson. “The tape speaks for itself with him, but it’s nice when you sit down and look someone in the eye, it means a lot.
“John was a player that we all knew could play lights-out, but when he got to sit down in front of us we said, ‘Okay, this is why the guy plays this way, he’s an intense guy.’ ”
It takes a year of solid effort to help a draft board shrink from an estimated 12,000 names to about 300.
Razzano and his Colts counterparts are important pieces working away from the home site.
“I would feel guilty if I didn’t really beat home the fact of how important to this process the scouts are and the coaches that go to the workouts,” said Grigson. “Just even in that instance, the scouts are always there.
“We have open lines of communication and they beat the drum hard for the guys that they like and the passion comes through. When I see our scouts come in and be passionate about a player, that has an effect and it resonates.”