Overview: Jim Irsay said at the owner’s meetings in late March that his club has not yet decided between QBs Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. That was mostly lip service, though, as Irsay has had his sights set on Luck for several months. After the former Stanford QB officially becomes the heir to Peyton Manning, the Colts have glaring holes virtually everywhere on the roster. The good news is that Indianapolis was awarded three compensatory draft picks, upping their 2012 total to 10 picks, including four in the top 100. If there is a common theme in rookie GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano’s first draft, it is likely to be all about adding bigger, stronger players on both sides of the ball after the Colts’ undersized roster broke down in recent years.
Need No. 1: Wide receiver
The Colts wisely re-signed Reggie Wayne to give Luck a consistent and dependable target, but they need to add another player who can work outside the numbers. Wayne, 33, is not a deep threat at this stage of his career and a field stretcher is sorely needed to keep defenses honest. Following the release of Dallas Clark, and the free-agency departure of Jacob Tamme to Denver, the Colts are left with just 2010 fifth-rounder Brody Eldridge at tight end. When healthy — and that hasn’t been often in his first two seasons — Eldridge can be an above-average blocker, but he has totaled just 14 catches.
Need No. 2: Nose tackle
In order for Pagano to install his 3-4 scheme, a nose tackle who can stuff the run and prevent QBs from moving up in the pocket to avoid Pro Bowlers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis is a must. That player isn’t currently on the Colts' roster. Fili Moala and 2011 third-rounder Drake Nevis have flashed potential, but neither player has the brawn to fill out the middle of Pagano’s defensive line.
Need No. 3: Cornerback
No position last season was in greater flux for the Colts than cornerback. Jerraud Powers has been very solid, but he ended last season on injured reserve and no other players seized the opportunity to get on the field. Kevin Thomas and Chris Rucker are young guys with good size and athleticism, but there is zero reason to believe either player is ready to step into the starting lineup. The Colts are likely to target aggressive, press-man covers who can force the issue.