As NFL Draft Ends, Colts Address Needs For 2015 And Beyond

Intro: The 2015 rookie class for the Colts finished with eight selections (five defensive, three offensive), several of which will fill early needs.

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INDIANAPOLIS – The philosophy is best player available, but when they match up with specific needs on the roster, it's icing on the cake.

As the Colts made their way through the NFL Draft, the names flying off the board to Indianapolis will undoubtedly have the opportunity to influence the direction of the reigning AFC South Champs.

A handful of defensive picks, along with two distinct offensive weapons, could very well follow the path of recent Indianapolis' rookies.

"We addressed needs," Chuck Pagano said at the conclusion of the three-day extravaganza.

"We feel like we added the necessary pieces. We knew where the areas of concern were, and I think we addressed those."

Day Three for the Colts began with the team selecting in the 10th spot of Round Four.

The safety position was long believed to be a position the Colts would augment this week and they did that to kick off Saturday.

Central Florida's Clayton Geathers brings a 218-pound, "tone-setting" mentality, along with a healthy NFL pedigree, to the next level.

"He's not even close to his ceiling. That's the great thing." Pagano said of the 52-game starter in Geathers.

"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 I knew down there talked about this kid, stood on the table for him."

With the back end bolstered with a cornerback (second-round pick D'Joun Smith) and a safety, the Colts headed back up to the trenches with their next pick.

Over the past few years, the Stanford defense has helped the Cardinal remain among the nation's finest teams even without Andrew Luck under center.

Interior lineman David Parry has evolved from a preferred walk-on to a linchpin at the front of the Cardinal's defense.

Parry and fellow Stanford/Colts draftee Henry Anderson (third-round pick) exchanged a text right after the former's fifth-round selection knowing that they are back together along the defensive line.

"Those guys are probably a couple of reasons why they've done well on defense and why they've done well against the run," Pagano said of Anderson and Parry. "They're well coached. They've been in a similar system that we run here. The terminology will be very, very easy for them to pick up. The techniques that they play with are the same techniques that we're teaching here. I think the transition from the college level from Stanford to our system, and to the National Football League, will be seamless for those two players.

"As you know and I know and Ryan knows, it starts up front. It starts in the trenches. You have to win that war on both sides of the football, and I think we've gotten better on both sides of the football."

For college football fans, probably the most recognizable pick of the Colts on Saturday came in the sixth-round with Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson.

The story of Robinson to life in the NFL is astonishing, and the way he ran for the Bulldogs in 2014 was that as well.

Robinson's ability to break tackles will earn him some potential playing time in the Indianapolis' backfield.

"The running style, (Robinson) fits what we do," Ryan Grigson said on Friday. "When you run that low to the ground and have that center of gravity, he's a bowling ball, and that's what they call him. To put up the yards he did in the SEC, with a 6.3-yard average, that speaks for itself in that conference."

While the backgrounds and paths to the Colts for the eight-man draft class is wide-ranging, Grigson did see a common trait in the entire group.

"All these guys we've taken, they all really care," Grigson said about the 2015 draft class.

"They care about the name on the back of their jersey. They care about the level of greatness they're going to achieve."

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