INDIANAPOLIS –Ryan Grigson spoke last week about the club's draft plans and like every NFL general manager, he was asked if the team would be seeking draft-day trades in either direction.
Sitting at 59th and owning five overall choices, Grigson portrayed the delicate nature of moving up to grab a talent or moving back to stock an arsenal.
It remains to be seen what he and the Colts can engineer, but Grigson is responsible directly for one of a handful of current Colts who arrived via a draft-day trade – T.Y. Hilton.
In Grigson's 2012 maiden draft with the Colts, he was sitting in the 97th overall spot in the fourth round, and he was eyeing Hilton, an explosive receiver from Florida International.
Trader Ryan sensed other teams were drawing a bead on Hilton, so he swapped into the third round with San Francisco (moving to 92nd) and added a fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft to close the deal.
Presto – a complement to Reggie Wayne and a potent target for Andrew Luck, Grigson's first choice.
Grigson that night said, "When you get a great player that is electric, it is fun. Sometimes you've got to go up and grab those guys. He is a little bit undersized and the history is that those types of guys with his size, they may be there in (round) four, but it's not a certainty. I've got some feedback from other people in the league knowing who was going to take him, I feel great about getting him. Really, I am ecstatic. (He had a) 4.3 (40-yard dash). He plays like it, too."
Upon his selection, Hilton said he was as fast as advertised.
"Yes sir, I'm very fast. I'm quick in and out of my breaks, so teams got to be ready for me. I'm a blazer."
Grigson had pulled off one of his best deals in landing Hilton, whose 10 100-yard games are the most by any Colts receiver over the first two seasons of a career. His 12 scoring receptions sport a 37.6-yard average. His career average balloons to 40.5 yards when adding a 75-yard punt return.
Wayne became a Colt in 2001 after Indianapolis did business with the New York Giants. The Colts traded out of the 22nd pick in the first round for the Giants' first- (30th), third- (91st) and sixth-round (193rd) choices.
The Giants took DB-Will Allen, who started 130-of-140 career games from 2001-12. Wayne has become one of the most noteworthy Colts in franchise history (1,006 receptions, 13,566 yards, 80 TDs), and he is poised to add to those totals in 2014.
A visual look back at Reggie Wayne's career with the Colts. (2001-present)
Indianapolis also selected DBs-Cory Bird and Jason Doering with that trade. Both went on for spot defensive play while becoming solid special teamers.
Pat McAfee joined the Colts in the seventh round in 2009. Indianapolis gave its sixth-round choice in 2010 to Philadelphia for the chance to nab McAfee.
McAfee holds Colts career records in kickoffs (387), kickoff touchbacks (164), punting gross average (45.6) and punting net average (38.4). He ranks fourth in franchise history in career punts (366) and punting yards (16,685) and third in punts inside the 20 (116).
One other Colt who arrived on a draft-day trade is the franchise's sack leader, Robert Mathis.
Sensing greatness but hating to part with a pick, Tony Dungy signed off on a trade sending a fourth-round choice in 2004 to Houston to take Mathis in the fifth round in 2003.
Mathis was the 138th selection in that draft, and Indianapolis only yielded what would be the 122nd overall choice the next year.
Dungy later said he never has been more proud of a draft pick.
Mathis has delivered in Wayne-like fashion with 111.0 sacks and an NFL-record 43 career strip-sacks.
He joins Wayne with six Pro Bowl nominations, and Mathis has sacks against 31 opponents and 55 opposing players. First among teams he has sacked is Houston (16.5).
Grigson is a relentless roster builder who will maneuver appropriately to find players to fit what he calls a 'win-now' philosophy.
"If you're not constantly thinking about the future, what-ifs, doomsday scenarios and, 'What if this guy?' " said Grigson. "You always have to be planning and re-stocking the shelves. Our roster is obviously a lot different than it was two or three years ago. It's continually a work in progress.
"You can't do it from top-to-bottom. We do it if the allure is really strong and it can help us get over that hump in the year you're in. Looking long-term and big picture-wise, you want to be prudent and always be looking to the future with how you're making your decisions."