INDIANAPOLIS — Part 1 left you wanting more.
Part 2 of “With The Next Pick” delivers.
The latest episode of this exclusive series by Colts Productions continued tonight with an in-depth look at just how the team attacks the key offseason scouting events like the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.
Need to get caught up? Want to watch every episode? You can find them all at Colts.com/NextPick, and, as always, you can see each episode at 8 p.m. every Wednesday night through May 1 on the Official Colts Mobile App, @Colts on Twitter, @Colts on Instagram and on the Colts’ official Facebook page.
Without further ado, here is Part 2 in its entirety, with some key notes below:
» The episode begins on Jan. 20 at the annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., where the team’s scouting department, led by assistant general manager Ed Dodds, is going through its plan of attack for the week — and moving forward. Coincidentally, this meeting is happening during the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. Just a week before, the Colts had fallen to the Chiefs in the Divisional Round, and, as Dodds points out to the group: “We ain’t done ---- yet. … We won a ------- Wild Card game.”
» We get introduced to many more key figures in the Colts’ scouting department in this episode. Dodds, Rex Hogan (vice president of player personnel), Morocco Brown (director of college scouting), Brian Decker (director of player development), Mike Derice (area scout), and Kevin Rogers (director of pro personnel), to go with general manager Chris Ballard, who was heavily featured in Episode 1.
» At the Senior Bowl, you get exclusive inside access into actual one-on-one interviews between the team and various prospects (who are off camera). You get a sense for the types of questions that Decker and others are asking these guys, like, “There’s a lot of things where you’ve enjoyed success in life. What did (football) provide you that maybe other things didn’t?” The Colts aren’t really interested in a prospect’s “highlight reel” or what he’s been coached to say, but if there are some lingering questions about a player’s past or how they approach certain areas of the game, he can help clear that up.
» What are the Colts really looking for in their prospects? Dodds puts it this way: “You’ve gotta have gritty, tough, just love ball … After size and athleticism, I mean, it’s effort and violence. Everything we need to know about toughness, competitiveness, I mean, we should see that on tape. If it doesn’t ooze off the tape, then we don’t really want the guy. … If they don’t fit the profile, we’re not drafting them.”
» The episode transitions over to the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where Rogers gives the lay of the land as far as how the team approaches the event in late February into early March. “It starts with the 40s (40-yard dashes), then they move into the positional drills, and obviously you wanna see how the guys compete, how they move. It’s really our third look through a lot of these guys. We see them in the fall in the college visits, and then we get them at the all-star games. This is kind of the next step.” Rogers adds, “Drafting a player is really more about who they are than what they are.”
» Part 2 wraps up at a Combine dinner held for all the Colts scouts, coaches, trainers — basically anyone who has a hand in the drafting process. Ballard toasts the group with praise for what they all bring to the table — “You all impact winning,” he says — but sets the table for what is expected moving forward. “The work you did last year was great. But, you know, you’ve gotta do it again. We’ve gotta do it again. Medical, scouting, strength, coaching — all of us, we’ve gotta do it again.” And as he raises his glass, Ballard closes with this: “To kickin’ everybody’s a--.”