INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson has made two draft day trades since coming to Indianapolis in 2012:
2012: WR T.Y. Hilton (3rd round, 92nd overall) from San Francisco for Colts 4th round pick (97th overall) and 2013 5th round pick
2013: DT Montori Hughes (5th round, 139th overall) from Cleveland for 2014 Colts 4th round pick
What do these draft day trades have in common? Grigson traded up in each case and has yet to trade down. Could that be the case again in 2015, with the Colts holding nine picks, with an extra in the 6th and 7th rounds?
"It's not an impossibility that we'd trade down or trade up even," said Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay at the "ChuckStrong" Gala Friday night. "So it'll be interesting as the day comes upon us."
Indianapolis will spend most of Thursday night waiting, with the 29th pick in the first round. Grigson said at his pre-draft press conference last Thursday the Colts draft board is only part of what comes into play when considering a trade.
"Again, I think it's all who's ringing that phone. It's all who's staring you in the face and screaming to you from the board. If there's an opportunity to get a really good player at the top of a round, and we're sitting there down in the bowels of the round, then you start having those thoughts and discussions in there," Grigson explained, before mentioning the previous trades for Hilton and Hughes. "But it's got to be that player that's kind of screaming at you."
And sometimes it's just better to do nothing at all and stay put, because of all the research and intelligence gathering Grigson's team of scouts puts into those three days on the clock. This is the time of year scouts, at times, become secret agents.
"You don't know. He might still fall to you. We had a player last year that we were close to trading up for because we do so much investigative work. Our staff is so good about finding out where guys have been, what visits they've been on, who they've worked out privately," Grigson divulged. "Then you kind of compare that against those team's needs, and you kind of just focus on who's going to take what."
In the end though, this is the NFL Draft we're talking about. Anything can happen when it comes to deciding to pull the trigger on a trade. The outcome could sway from exhilarating to disappointing or vice versa in the Colts war room.
"It's not an exact science, but it gives you a little bit of a feel at least for who's going to come off the board," said Grigson. "Last year, sometimes patience works too. We had a guy last year that fell that we thought we'd have to move up in the round for, and there he was sitting there for us. We got him. Sometimes that happens and then other times that guy comes off the board and Chuck (Pagano) puts his fist through the table (laughs). It happens."
Grigson didn't say which player that was, but it makes you wonder if Jack Mewhort, Donte Moncrief or Jonathan Newsome was the player Indianapolis almost traded up for and still fell to the Colts.
Regardless, two things are for sure when the NFL Draft starts Thursday night for the Colts. Ryan Grigson has shown he's not afraid to pull the trigger on a draft day trade in the past, and all options will be on the table in front of the Colts master draft board in Indianapolis as the draft unfolds in Chicago.
(*Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the pick used to take 2014 7th round pick Ulrick John was acquired from Baltimore for center A.Q. Shipley. Shipley was traded May 9th, 2013, not May 9th, 2014. May 9th, 2014 would have been the second day of the 2014 draft, the day before John was taken, but the trade came in 2013. The pick used to take John was still an acquired pick but not a draft day trade.)