Hello, Colts fans. Welcome to another edition of the Colts Authority Roundtable. This time around we’ll give our thoughts on the Colts’ draft. It’s a lighter roundtable than usual, as our group has been busy with important stuff like jobs and school. I’m joined this week by our team of Nate’s: Nate Dunlevy and Nate Wilson.
Speaking of which, we’d like to extend our congratulations to Nate Wilson and wife on the recent birth of their daughter. Nate, as the father of a female teenager, I can tell you this: If teenagers in general seem to live on their own planet, female teenagers live in their own galaxies. Good luck!
I asked the Nate’s two questions, and added my own thoughts.
Q: What’s your overall opinion of the team’s draft?
Nate Dunlevy: I feel like this draft illustrated that Chris Ballard has a more coherent understanding of winning football than the previous regime did. We won’t know if the players he took are good or not for some time, but he’s looking for the right types of players, so I’m encouraged.
Nate Wilson: I like the draft results. It’ll be a little bit until we know how it really pans out but I think Ballard got the best players he could that also filled some needs on the roster. I’m excited to see how much of an impact some of these guys make in this coming season.
Jeff Gerbig: The first round disappointed me, not because they drafted Hooker but because they just missed Derek Barnett. I don’t pay much attention to “Team X was at player Y’s pro day” stuff, not because it’s worthless news, but because a team just isn’t going to tip their hand 99.9% of the time. I have no way of knowing if the Colts would’ve taken Barnett had he been available, but I feel like it would’ve prompted serious discussion. Who knows, he may turn out to be a bust. All I know is the Eagles made little secret of their interest in finding weapons for Carson Wentz – at WR, specifically – and when the top two or three were gone, they took Barnett.
As for the Colts’ picks, I agree with my cohorts in that it will be some time before we know if any of these guys are any good. This is the case whether it’s Bill Polian, Ryan Grigson, or Chris Ballard calling the shots. My first instinct is that Ballard did a great job. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t sure what to expect from him, but this draft feels like a better departure than previous ones to me. We will find out in due time.
Q: Which pick or UDFA are you most excited about?
Nate Dunlevy: I’m more excited about Trey Griffey than I can say. I want him to make the team so bad, because a Griffey Colts jersey would be an instant add to my collection.
(Author’s note: Nate is a big Cincinnati Reds fan, and you may recognize Trey as the son of former Red and Hall of Fame baseball player Ken Griffey, Jr. I’m surprised he didn’t get drafted, so I love this signing as well)
Nate Wilson: I’m excited to see how Malik Hooker does. He has a lot of potential and I hope that turns into the play-maker the Colts think he can be.
(The Ohio State fan picking an Ohio State player should come as no surprise. I’m just glad Nate didn’t call them THE Ohio State University)
Jeff Gerbig: I was busy during the second and third days of the draft, so I had to play catch up afterwards. Once I started reading more into the draft picks and UDFA guys, I got really excited, and the main one who excites me is 2nd round pick Quincy Wilson. When is the last time the Colts had a corner this physical? He reminds me a lot of Richard Sherman – please note, I’m NOT suggesting he will be as good – as they are similar in terms of build, speed, and style of play. There will be a learning curve, as he will have to adjust to the NFL’s more liberal pass defense rules, but I think if he truly has a good football IQ and once officiating crews learn his game better, the Colts just may have lucked upon a great corner.
I liked several of the UDFA guys the team brought in, specifically WR Trey Griffey, RB Brandon Radcliff, K Rigoberto Sanchez (remember this name, folks, because unless he totally fails during training camp, this is our next punter and kickoff guy), and…Jerome Lane.
Lane is the namesake of his father, who spent several years in the NBA. The younger Lane’s football ability is very raw, as he’s only played WR for a couple of years, but at 6’2″, 225 pounds, he plays very much like his dad did on the basketball court. Very physical. Is he a project? Sure, but I think there’s some untapped potential here. As with every new player, we’ll find out soon enough.
Mostly though, I wanted a reason to post this video of the elder Jerome throwing down one of the greatest dunks ever:
My goodness. A few thoughts: 1) If you can send Bill Raftery to hysterics like this, you’ve done something special. 2) For you basketball junkies, the guy who passes him the ball is current University of Arizona basketball coach and brother of new IU coach Archie Miller, Chris Miller. 3) The strength this takes is amazing.
See you soon, Colts fans.