INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts haven't exactly been shy about their strategies the past couple drafts.
Last year, under then-general manager Ryan Grigson, the team used four of its eight picks on offensive linemen, as it tried to build a solid foundation moving forward around quarterback Andrew Luck. The Colts' top pick a year ago, Ryan Kelly, has established himself as their center of the future, while two of the other picks, Le'Raven Clark and Joe Haeg, figure to be in battles for starting jobs along the right side this season. The remaining offensive linemen selected last year, Austin Blythe, provides the team with solid depth at multiple positions and is a special teams contributor.
This time around, now under first-year general manager Chris Ballard, the obvious focus was on the team's defense. After spending most of the offseason leading up to the draft reshaping that side of the ball through free agency, Indy would also spend six of its draft picks on the defense, its most for the unit since 2010.
In doing so, the team got an instant starter at free safety (first-round pick Malik Hooker), a presumed starter at cornerback (Quincy Wilson), a budding pass rusher (Tarell Basham), a big, yet uber athletic interior defensive lineman (Grover Stewart), more young depth at cornerback (Nate Hairston) and a smart, productive inside linebacker with possible future team captain written all over him (Anthony Walker).
So while Ballard and the Colts were mostly lauded for their performance in this year's NFL Draft, NFL.com has provided a tangible way, beyond just a simple grade, to evaluate just how well the team picked.
Utilizing NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt's Hot 150 Prospect rankings as a unit of measurement, College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread found seven teams that were able to add the most talent to their rosters on defense.
The Colts tied with the New Orleans Saints for fifth on this particular list, which you can look over in its entirety by clicking here.
Four of Indy's six defensive draft picks — Hooker (sixth overall), Wilson (27th), Walker (126th) and Basham (127th) — were ranked on Brandt's list. Here's what Goodbread wrote about these selections in particular:5 (tied). Indianapolis Colts
Score: 318 points (4 players)
The skinny: The Colts reshaped their secondary with Malik Hooker and Quincy Wilson, giving them a ballhawking safety and one of the biggest cornerbacks in the draft. Tarell Basham was one of the top prospects out of the Mid-American Conference, flashing big potential as a pass rusher in his final college campaign with 11.5 sacks. Based on Brandt's rankings, LB Anthony Walker was a bargain for Indianapolis in the fifth round.
The players (points):
No. 6: Malik Hooker (145)
No. 27: Quincy Wilson (124)
No. 126: Anthony Walker (25)
No. 127 Tarell Basham (24)
The Colts were the only AFC South Division team to appear on this particular list, although the Jacksonville Jaguars (second) and Houston Texans (fifth) were among the five teams that Brandt/Goodbread believed added the most talent on offense in this year's NFL Draft.
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.