INDIANAPOLIS – It's something Jim Irsay alluded to on more than one occasion when meeting the media last month in Arizona.
"The draft is going to be big for us," Irsay said at the NFL's Annual League Meetings.
Starting Thursday, the Colts will embark on a three-day draft that will undeniably have a major influence on how quickly they can get back to being a consistent playoff contender in the AFC.
The Colts currently have seven picks in the 2017 Draft, and have taken trade calls about adding more selections:
- Round 1-15
- Round 2-46
- Round 3-80
- Round 4-121
- Round 4-137 (New England's pick, via Dwayne Allen trade)
- Round 4-144 (Compensatory pick)
- Round 5-158
The team's sixth-round pick was sent to New England in the Allen trade. The seventh-rounder is now in Cleveland after the Colts traded for DL-Billy Winn back in 2015.
This year's draft will be held in Philadelphia. After Chicago had the draft last year, Philly is hosting the 82nd NFL Draft for the first time in more than 50 years.
-Thursday: Round 1 (10 minutes per pick, starts at 8:00 p.m. ET)
-Friday: Rounds 2 and 3 (7 minutes per pick, starts at 7:00 p.m. ET)
-Saturday Rounds 4 through 7 (5 minutes per pick, 4 minutes in Round 7, starts at 12:00 p.m. ET)
Here are a few Colts notes related to the 2017 NFL Draft:
- The Colts have selected at least one offensive lineman in every draft since 2002.
- They've chosen at least one defensive lineman in the last 10 drafts.
- Of the 38 draft picks the Colts have had under Chuck Pagano, they've only selected one cornerback (D'Joun Smith, third round in 2015). The team did trade its second-round pick in 2013 for Vontae Davis. The cornerback position group is a definite need for the Colts and has strong draft depth in 2017.
- The Colts have 7 picks in the first 155 selections for the first time since 1992.
- The Colts have 7 picks in the first five rounds for the first time since 2005.
- The Colts have 7 picks in the first five rounds in this year's draft. Since 2012, the Colts have averaged 3.4 picks per draft in the first five rounds.
- Based off last year's first round taking 3 hours and 29 minutes, the Colts should be picking 15th overall at around 9:40-10:00 ET on Thursday night.
- When Chris Ballard has talked about his draft philosophy this offseason, he brings up Reggie Wayne going to the Colts in 2001.
- How do the needs look for the Colts at each position in 2017?
- The debate over evaluating "red flag" players is something Ballard has past history with in Kansas City. How is Ballard handling those things now in the general manager position?
- When Sunday rolls around, the Colts currently have room for eight undrafted free agents (the roster is at 75 players going into the draft). If the Colts draft seven players, that leaves room for eight UDFAs. The Colts have had at least one rookie undrafted free agent make the team's Week One 53-man roster for the past 18 seasons, which is one of the longest active streaks in the NFL.
The Colts have 17 players on its roster that the team drafted.*Here is the breakdown of those players:2016*
C-Ryan Kelly (1-18)
S-T.J. Green (2-57)
T-Le'Raven Clark (3-82)
DT-Hassan Ridgeway (4-116)
ILB-Antonio Morrison (4-125)
T-Joe Haeg (5-155)
C/G-Austin Blythe (7-248)2015
WR-Phillip Dorsett (1-29)
DT-Henry Anderson (3-93)
S-Clayton Geathers (4-109)
DT-David Parry (5-151)
T-Denzelle Good (7-255)2014
T/G-Jack Mewhort (2-59)
WR-Donte Moncrief (3-90)2012
QB-Andrew Luck (1-1)
WR-T.Y. Hilton (3-92)2011
T-Anthony Castonzo (1-22)
Here are the last 10 guys picked at No. 15 overall:
2016 -WR-Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns
2015 -RB-Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers
2014 -OLB-Ryan Shazier, Pittsburgh Steelers
2013 -S-Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans Saints
2012 -DE-Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks
2011 -C-Mike Pouncey, Miami Dolphins
2010 -DE-Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
2009 -LB-Brian Cushing, Houston Texans
2008 -T-Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs
2007 -LB-Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh Steelers
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.