Skip to main content


Presented by

Colts Have Their Eyes On Defensive Line Draft Class

Intro: After a string of offensive players in the last three drafts, will the Colts have a run on defensive selections in 2015?





INDIANAPOLIS – "You don't dictate to the draft, the draft dictates to you."

Jim Irsay's draft mantra, after a lifetime in the NFL, is backed up by his general manager.

In the three drafts led by Ryan Grigson, the Colts have taken one defensive player in the first four rounds (compared to eight offensive selections).

Draft needs in 2015 indicate the defensive side of the ball would help revamp a unit that has primarily been built through free agency.

It was necessary when the Colts had to make a rather quick, and drastic, transition from a 4-3 defense, prior to Grigson and Chuck Pagano's arrival, to a 3-4 hybrid scheme in 2012.

The old draft cliché of "best player available" has held true for Grigson but in preparing for this year's draft, the Colts GM has kept a close eye on the defensive line.

"There are some quality defensive linemen in this class," Grigson said last week. "There are some long, athletic ones. There are some very stout ones. There are some that have pretty good versatility along the front for what we do.

"I feel as much as since I've been here, in 2012, if there were more of these players, more cookie cutter type guys for what we were for looking for, that would have been ideal."

Mock drafts have seen nearly 10 front seven players pegged throughout the first round, with runs on defensive guys around the Colts pick (No. 29) trending in that direction.

The Colts nabbing such a player, particularly in the defensive trenches, would certainly fill a need on several levels.

After starters Arthur Jones and Kendall Langford, the Colts have little proven depth along the defensive line.

There are reps to be had up front with Cory Redding and Ricky Jean Francois no longer on the roster, after both played in all 16 games last season.

Complementing the defensive line with a high draft pick this week would definitely enhance a group looking for an upgrade from how last year's playoff run ended.

While the safety depth in 2015 might not add up to the Colts exact needs, the defensive line class has a much better outlook while Indianapolis continues to develop their own.

"That group as a whole, I think is pretty strong," Grigson said of this year's defensive linemen. "There are those defensive linemen that are treasure. The ones that can not only hold the point but also have some third-down ability and aren't just first, second down statutes. The more dynamic they are with size, obviously the steeper the price.

"Again, we got some big bodies that can move. All our guys on the defensive line, run near five flat (40-yard dash) at 320-340 pounds, plus. We've got athletic guys. We've just got to make more plays."

Day six of offseason conditioning. (DEFENSE)

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.