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After "Whirlwind" Friday, Colts Add Disruptive Defenders

Intro: The constant uncertainty of the NFL Draft was front and center on Friday. How did the Colts end up with cornerback D’Joun Smith and defensive end Henry Anderson?


INDIANAPOLIS – In a two-round day filled with plenty of uncertainty and anticipation, the Colts went to sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning with a pair of defenders known for their disruption.

It was not by design when the night got underway on Friday, but after juggling several trade offers throughout the second and third rounds, the Colts exited the war room with smiles that weren't going away anytime soon thanks to some new defensive pieces.

"Today was a whirlwind," Colts GM Ryan Grigson said with a grin following his two picks on Friday.

"We had a lot going on in there. We had a lot going on and a lot of things fall right through your fingertips. We were close on a lot of different things, but we were still really happy with how things panned out for us."

Friday began with patience.

With several expected first-round picks falling to the second-round, the Colts waited, longer than expected.

For the first time in the Ryan Grigson era, the Colts traded back.

The 61st overall pick for the Colts became the 65th selection when they swapped spots with Tampa Bay, while improving their fourth round selection by 19 spots.

The player still waiting there at the top of the third round was one who's exuding confidence initially struck the Colts in February.

From the time cornerback D'Joun Smith sat on the edge of the seat in the Colts suite during this year's Combine, he had their attention

"When we had that interview I remember Chuck (Pagano) turned to me and said something about corners never know things like this, when they had (Smith) going through our defense," Ryan Grigson said on Friday. "Talking just ball with him, he was very, very strong in terms of football his intelligence. He just kind of knew what everyone was doing on the field and it was very impressive."

"At every turn, this kid impressed us. His all business approach, he's got a real quiet toughness about him. It shows up on the field and we're excited about this guy."

Smith, who had an eventful Friday starting with graduation from Florida Atlantic University, gives the Colts some much-needed youth at a position with a trio of seven-year veterans leading the group in 2015.

Whether it's Smith's allowing just one completion in 11 total passes thrown his way last year or his in your face tackling nature in the open field, the Colts love the attitude of their first third-round pick.

"This guy truly believes," Pagano said of Smith, a player he watched first hand at the Florida Atlantic Pro Day.

"When we asked him who the best corner in the draft this year coming out he said, 'It's me.'"

If Smith is indeed paroling the Colts secondary for years to come, they made sure on Friday he had a running mate up front, making plays.

It's not often that the resumes of 3-4 defensive ends include a team leader in sacks and tackles for loss, let alone at a place like Stanford.

Yet, every time Grigson popped in the film of one Henry Anderson, the 6-6, 294-pound defensive end was doing more than just occupying space in a 3-4 scheme.

"I know we're going to have (Anderson) for a long time," Grigson said of the All-Pac 12 lineman.

"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. Everything's very good with this guy. I think he's going to be a really good player at our level."

The Colts brought Anderson in for a top-30 visit last month.

Pagano's biggest takeaway from watching film on Anderson was something the head coach couldn't even find.

"I don't know if I saw one clip of film where (Anderson) wasn't playing with great effort and intensity," Pagano said.

As the Colts now enter the final day of the draft, they carry six picks with them into the final four rounds.

The defensive side of the ball became the focus at the end of Friday, with a pair of defenders that see plenty of chances to bring playmaking ability to a side of the ball in search of such an infusion.

"I know that I can come in and provide help to the defense and try to bring a Super Bowl to Indy," Anderson said.

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