INDIANAPOLIS – A run of four straight defensive picks on Friday and early Saturday could serve as several answers for long-term questions for the Colts.
With five defensive selections last week, the Colts addressed each level of their defense.
Here's a capsule look at the Colts five offensive picks in 2015:
*Round 3, Pick 61: Cornerback D'Joun Smith (Florida Atlantic) *-2014 Stats: 11 games played (11 starts)
-Career Stats: 44 games played (34 starts) in 4 seasons.
-Interesting Fact: Had eight passes defensed in 11 passes thrown his way during in 2014.
-Smith's Quote to Note: "I would say I really take my game a lot from Darrelle Revis. Just competitiveness, play the best wide receivers. He can play press man. He can play off man. He's got great film study. He and Charles Woodson would probably be the two cornerbacks that I watch. I like the way Charles Woodson processes plays, how he determines which routes possibly that could come. I really watch and hone in to those guys because Darrelle Revis is the best now, and when Charles Woodson was playing, Charles Woodson was the best. I really patent my game after those guys."
-Chuck Pagano's Thoughts: "This guy truly believes. When we asked him who the best corner in the draft this year coming out he said, 'It's me.' He plays with a chip on his shoulder. It's because I think everybody's probably told this kid you're too short, you're too this, you're too that. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he's got great confidence. You have to have it to play that position. This guy's relentless. I talked to Charlie Partridge, the head coach down there, and (Smith) was the first guy in the building. Coach hadn't been there but a year. This was his first year down there. They'd leave the practice field and the lights were still on and they'd look out their offices, their windows overlook the practice field, and there'd be a guy out there still working. So he'd go out there, and he had to kick him off the field. They turned the lights off because it'd be an hour after everybody was gone. This kid will not fail. Lord willing, the creek don't rise and he stays healthy and all that stuff. He's a grinder. He's got that mentality that he can be, and he will work to be one of the best that plays that position."
-Outlook: In trying to build a defense with young pieces, Smith is atop that list. Colts fans have seen firsthand what a dominant cornerback can do for a defense. It appears Smith has the skill set to possibly turn into such a corner. Now, when will we see Smith's first significant playing time? If the Colts have their healthy cornerback trio in 2015, Smith will find it hard to crack the starting lineup. However, if one of those guys (Vontae Davis, Greg Toler or Darius Butler) goes down with an injury, Smith will be playing nearly every defensive snap in particular game. That's the nature of the NFL. In a league filled with pass happy offenses, the value of Smith is going to play a major role with the Colts, whether it's in a few snaps this season or as a possible starter in 2016.**
Round 3, Pick 93: Defensive End Henry Anderson (Stanford) **-2014 Stats: 13 games played (13 starts). 65 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 15.0 tackles for loss last season.
-Career Stats: 48 career games played (35 starts). 140 tackles, 17.0 sacks in his career at Stanford.
-Interesting Fact: Per Pro Football Focus, Anderson had the top pass rushing grade of any 3-4 defensive end in the 2015 draft class.
-Anderson's Quote to Note: "I'm really excited about coming in and providing as much help as possible to the defense. I know (Andrew) Luck and the offense have been playing really well the past few years. The defense has played well, but not up to where the offense has been at. I know that I can come in and provide help to the defense and try to bring a Super Bowl to Indy."
-Ryan Grigson's Thoughts: "He was actually fun to watch. He came in here for a top-30 visit, too. He's a big kid, smart and he's what you're looking for at end in this defense, I think. I know we're going to have him for a long time. I think when you're at the level of intelligence, that level of production and then that level of competiveness and athletic ability, you mark off every box I think. Everything's very good with this guy. I think he's going to be a really good player at our level."
-Outlook: By definition, being "disruptive" as a 3-4 defensive end hardly shows up in the box score. If you are doing your job at that position, you are occupying multiple blockers thus allowing linebackers to run free. Anderson goes above and beyond those duties. His sacks and tackles for loss numbers are staggering (8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 2014), in a good way. The Colts have plenty of open defensive line reps in 2015 and Anderson will undoubtedly fill many of those. He gives the Colts depth and versatility among a unit that can employ him at several spots on various downs.**
Round 4, Pick No. 109: Safety Clayton Geathers (Central Florida) **-2014 Stats: 13 games played (13 starts).
-Career Stats: 53 games played (52 starts) in 5 collegiate seasons.
-Interesting Fact: Geathers' 383 career tackles are the third most in school history. His 53 games played are tied for the most in school history.
-Geathers' Quote to Note: "When I got that phone call, it was just a blessing. You never know how the draft is going to go. We sat down and had a good meeting at the combine, at pro day. I felt good. It was a great experience. I'm blessed to be in this situation, I was blessed to get the call and I'm happy to be a Colt."
-Chuck Pagano's Thoughts: "He's not even close to his ceiling. That's the great thing. He's not even close to his ceiling. He's a big, strong, athletic guy. He's got high football IQ. He loves the game. I know the guys that coach him personally. Every one of the guys that we talked about, it started with the scouts, but then every one of the guys that I knew down there stood on the table for him."
-Outlook: In trading back in the second round, the Colts then moved up 19 spots in the fourth round. They wasted no time to find a safety, one that brings a presence to the back end of their defense. Geathers referred to himself as a "tone setter" on several occasions during his Saturday conference call. That physical nature will be welcomed to the Colts secondary, one that has two veteran safeties in Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery, Similar to the pick of Smith, Geathers might not see a ton of playing time in 2015, but there's no doubt he fits into the long-term plans at safety. Geathers did play on all special teams units at Central Florida, which should bode well for his early playing time as a rookie.**
Round 5, Pick No. 151: Defensive Tackle David Parry (Stanford) **-2014 Stats: 12 games played (11 starts). 34 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
-Career Stats: 40 games played (23 starts) in 4 seasons. 91 tackles (43 solo), 17.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
-Interesting Fact: Parry was a preferred walk-on at Stanford before eventually earning a scholarship.
-Parry's Quote to Note (On playing with a mean streak): "I'd say that's pretty accurate. My dad and my brother taught me to play this game a certain way growing up. I continue to try to play the game with a hostile attitude. There is a certain level of violence that needs to be used playing this game and that's what I try to do."
-Chuck Pagano's Thoughts: "Adding David Parry, nose tackle, this guy reminded me when I watched the tape of (11-year veteran) Kelly Gregg. Kelly was in Baltimore when I was there. He's tough. He's strong. He's passionate. He's smart as hell, durable, he makes a lot of plays, so he's going to help us."
-Outlook: Pagano had some great insight on how he feels the two Stanford defensive linemen should make a smooth transition to the Colts own scheme, based on the system they played in for the Cardinal. Similar to Anderson, Parry was pretty disruptive which is even more difficult for a guy playing more on the inside, compared to his college (and now professional) teammate. Like I said above in Anderson's outlook, the Colts have reps to be had along the defensive line. It would not shock me at all if at crucial moments this season, Anderson and/or Parry were playing in the trenches.**
Round 6, Pick No. 207: Inside Linebacker Amarlo Herrera (Georgia) **-2014 Stats: 13 games played (13 starts). 115 tackles (44 solo), 10 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.
-Career Stats: 54 career games played (43 starts) in 4 years. 334 tackles (147 solo), 21 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 11 passes defensed.
-Interesting Fact: Herrera finished his career at Georgia with back-to-back 100-tackle seasons.
-Herrera's Quote to Note: "It's big time. It's definitely a great program, great history. I'm just ready to get out there and contribute."
-Chuck Pagano's Thoughts: "The inside backer, (Amarlo) Herrera from Georgia, good player. Productive guy, tough, strong, downhill."
-Outlook: The Colts final defensive pick of 2015 comes in the form of a four-year SEC starter. Herrera looks the part and back-to-back 100-tackle seasons from the inside linebacker position at Georgia stand out on his resume. Similar to safety, the Colts have two starting inside linebackers that are getting up there in age. Herrera should get some early reps, especially with Nate Irving still rehabbing his ACL injury. Herrera says he plays with an "edge", a term that should be used to describe any inside linebacker.