Colts must choose wisely

As a fan of the Indianapolis Colts, you’re not going overboard on the pre-NFL Draft optimism.

What could be a Thursday night draft party with close friends and catered food has been reduced to a couple of burgers from a drive-thru window and quality time alone.

All because Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, whose reputation appears to lean more toward the trade for Trent Richardson than it does the drafting of Andrew Luck, isn’t to be trusted.

Or is he?

Respect Grigson or not, he could have taken former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft and let Luck drop to the Washington Redskins in the second spot.

On a scale of 1 to 10, we’ll give Grigson a 6 for bringing Luck to town.

A no-brainer in hindsight, but not so much at the time. Much like the whole Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf debate 14 years prior.

Indy dodged two QB disasters. Eluding just one would have greatly limited its chance to be a Super Bowl contender for years.

Be grateful.

Now think back to the rest of that Colts draft class four years ago: second-rounder Coby Fleener, the Round 3 tandem of Dwayne Allen and T.Y. Hilton, and Josh Chapman and Vick Ballard in the fifth round.

Maybe a case of beginner’s luck. Or so it seemed the following year when the Colts inexplicably took defensive end Bjoern Werner with the 24th overall selection.

What people tend to forget is the franchise’s next two selections in 2013 — offensive guard Hugh Thornton and center Khaled Holmes — have gone on to produce a total of 41 starts for Indianapolis.

Ridicule Grigson all you want about Werner, but ease up after that.

Bunching the past two drafts together, receiver Donte Moncrief (1,177 career yards, 9 touchdowns), offensive lineman Jack Mewhort (30 starts), defensive end Henry Anderson (31 tackles in only nine games as a rookie last season) and strong safety Clayton Geathers (34 tackles as a rookie) are definite pluses.

Lightning-fast receiver Phillip Dorsett, Grigson’s selection in the first round in 2015, must show us something this season or he gets lumped with Werner under “Bad Decisions.”

Grigson wants the trade for Richardson and drafting of Werner to go away. In time he may feel the same way about taking Dorsett 29th overall.

Fair or unfair, the GM’s bad decisions have shaped his reputation more than the ones he got right. Grigson’s perceived un-approachability and arrogance don’t help his cause.

The only way for Colts fans to gain any sort of confidence in Grigson is for his 2016 draft to closely resemble his 2012.

Beef up the offensive line, find an edge rusher worthy of starting next season and solidify the linebacking unit.

Starting tonight, Grigson’s got six picks to make it happen.

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at