INDIANAPOLIS – Last week, Ryan Grigson termed the NFL Draft as the “lifeblood” of an organization’s health.
Last year’s draft was evidence of the infusion the process provided as the Colts jumped from 2-14 to 11-5.
As the draft ticks almost down to 48 hours away, Grigson find the process fun and internally smooth.
“It’s fun. It’s a lot of work,” said Grigson. “It’s fun being around the scouts and just getting kind of a feel for what they did on the road this year, guys they liked, guys they didn’t like. Their personalities and passions come out in those meetings.
“It’s fun just getting everyone’s opinion and then formulating it.”
The personnel staff is coming down to its showtime, the three-day draft process that culminates a year’s worth of work, only to start anew next week.
“Every day you just kind of narrow it more and more. You start with all those names and it’s just a narrowing process,” said Grigson. “I love casting a wide net and just narrowing it down. The staff I have and the communication we have, and the mutual respect we have, with the coaches and the scouts, it’s a great synergy.”
Even back to prior regimes, the internal process leading to the draft was made smoother in Indianapolis by open communication among the football minds.
With his personnel group largely intact and with a coaching staff that nearly replicates 2012’s group, Grigson is readying to take aim.
One new addition this year, special teams coordinator Tom McMahon, contributed recently to this year’s preparation.
(Tom) went through a great dissertation,” said Grigson. “I was all ears on the nuances of each spot – how a punter drops the ball, how he holds his hand, the angle of his wrist in his palm all these little intricacies.
“I felt like this was great that we all buy into that. If we know what they need to be successful and we can go out there and earmark it and we have a bevy of those guys, from rounds one through college free agency, then it gives us a great chance.”
Grigson is a forceful presence in any room. He has prepped himself for this role for years, once dominating conversation in a veteran-stocked meeting room as a rookie when his position coach with the Bengals asked for tidbits on an opposing player prior to a preseason game.
As such, he wants his staff to show conviction about the players they scouted. He urges individuals to speak up about who can make a difference.
The selection process, in Grigson’s view, is of paramount importance.
“The draft is how you build,” said Grigson. “It is the lifeblood of a team and its chance to achieve sustained success. Teams that historically draft well are the teams you see with 10 or more wins every year and most consistently playing in the post season, period.”
Doing all things possible is a must. One mode that has helped coordination is communication.
“As long as we maintain that, I think we are going to have really good drafts,” said Grigson.