INDIANAPOLIS – While some call the draft the lifeblood of a franchise, Ryan Grigson refers to the precious selections coming later this week as "gold."
Before Grigson's arrival to Indianapolis, the previous regime certainly made the most out of such cornerstone selections.
As the Colts piled up 115 wins from 2000-09, the winningest decade in NFL history, they did it through players who had worn nothing else other than the Horseshoe.
Manning. James. Wayne. Freeney. Clark. Mathis. Sanders. Addai.
They heard their names called by the Colts on draft day and served as pillars in the team's winning.
Jim Irsay has said that with the current financial situation of these Colts (Andrew Luck's second contract pending) the draft is even more critical and a major focus of the 2016 offseason.
"The goal is sustained greatness," Irsay says.
"The draft this year and the draft next year are critical for the second half of the decade being shaped."
The Colts hope 2016 will add to the contributors they found throughout last year's draft class.
Around a handful of 2015 draftees could play starting roles for the Colts this coming season.
"Those guys were all kind of from the same ilk," Ryan Grigson says when looking back on the 2015 Draft Class.
"I mean all the scouting background, the football character, the test scores, they kind of spoke to the same guy. Maybe except for Phillip (Dorsett), there wasn't anything that overly, overly jumped out at you as overly sexy out on the film. It was just guys that made plays, know how to play the game and there weren't big swings."
With just six picks in 2016, the Colts will have fewer swings this week but are looking for the same sort of cuts.
Having young players producing on rookie contracts has to continue to be a staple for the Colts going forward.
Can the Colts find guys (i.e. T.Y. Hilton, Jack Mewhort and Henry Anderson) to come in and play starting roles from Day One?
That is the objective beginning on Thursday.
"We need those picks," Grigson says.
"They're gold right now because of where we're at financially. We'll do the best we can with those picks."