Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 22, 2013

Colts prepare for draft



Wide receiver — The Colts drafted WRs T.Y. Hilton and LaVon Brazill last year and added WR Griff Whalen as an undrafted free agent. But all three figure to be more slot receivers than No. 2 outside receivers. Also, Indy is expected to be looking for a long-term replacement for veteran WR Reggie Wayne as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver.

Interior offensive line — Adding potential starters at center and offensive guard should be on the Colts’ radar in this year’s draft. Indy has starters returning in Samson Satele, Mike McGlynn and Joe Reitz but they aren’t considered to be the future of the team’s offensive line. Improving the overall depth up front on offense is key.

“In our little cocoon, I feel like through this process the defensive line, offensive line and the secondary, that’s including safeties and corners, I feel like it’s better than last year,” Grigson said.

Importance of the draft — The Colts general manager got high marks for the job he did in last year’s draft, picking up quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, Hilton and Brazill, running back Vick Ballard, nose tackle Josh Chapman and Harnish.

“As it was told to me once when I was first starting out [as an NFL scout], [the draft is] the lifeblood to an organization. And I feel it is. They’re the players that you have under contract for four or five years. They grow together. I think it’s such a great thing that those guys who played for us last year did such a great job and they’re like brothers,” Grigson recalled.  “They came in together, they had great success together and they create a bond. You want a family here. You can’t do it if it’s all transient. You want your core to be from the draft and successful teams in the league have done that. But I also feel like you still have to make moves if they’re there to make if you can get better in the offseason. But those players all have to be cut from a collective cloth. I feel like that’s what we did. Guys that love to play the game, guys that are physical and guys that aren’t just looking for that next paycheck. Guys that want to win championships. That’s why I feel like free agency should be used as a tool but your foundation is the draft.”

All-time Indianapolis Colts era draft: After polling a panel of media who cover the Colts on a regular basis, here is a look at the franchise’s all-time Indianapolis era draft (1984-2012) —

First round: QB Peyton Manning (1998)

Second round:  S Bob Sanders (2004)

Third round:  CB Ray Buchanan (1993)

Fourth round: WR Bill Brooks (1986)

Fifth round: DE/OLB Robert Mathis (2003)

Sixth round: S Antoine Bethea (2006)

Seventh round: P Pat McAfee (2009)

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