The Indianapolis Colts became well aware of the importance of drafting the right talent around your franchise quarterback long before Andrew Luck led this franchise back to the postseason last year.
Indy learned plenty of lessons during the Peyton Manning Era in The Circle City. With key pieces like Dallas Clark, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne and others flowing in during the early Manning years, it was a wonder how this squad didn’t emerge from the AFC as champion each season. But in the later Manning seasons, these drafts were squandered upon the likes of recently-traded Jerry Hughes and other flops.
The narrative soon moved to “How is Manning even taking them this far?” as Indy limped to a home playoff loss to Mark Sanchez‘s New York Jets in Manning’s final contest in a Colts uniform.
Indianapolis is capitalizing quickly on its opportunity to support the new franchise quarterback. Ryan Grigson‘s first draft as Colts general manager supplemented the Luck selection with ample help in receiver T.Y. Hilton, running back Vick Ballard and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.
It looks like the Colts may have very well come away with five quality offensive contributors in one draft, and it’s incredible to think this team has filled so many holes that the 2013 draft class will have trouble finding playing time.
“That doesn’t mean to say some of these guys that we drafted or any of the tryout guys or college free agents can’t come in and contribute in some capacity, especially on special teams,” Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said, via the Indianapolis Star. “With what we did in free agency, there’s not that many holes to fill. That’s means you’re getting closer from a roster standpoint and team standpoint to where you want to be.”
The need at the skill positions was so little for the Colts that they waited until the seventh round to take running back Kerwynn Williams and tight end Justice Cunningham.