INDIANAPOLIS – It's impossible not to like Indianapolis Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson's style. He has a no-bull style, if you get my one-word-short drift.
While he's not revealing who the Colts will pick with their first-round, No.24, selection in next week's NFL Draft, Grigson said the team will look to trade down if the right player is not available.
That's the type of transparency that wasn't the case when Bill Polian was in charge. Polian would have sooner been trapped in an elevator for 24 hours with a pack of pundits than show even a glimpse of his pre-draft hand.
Both styles work, obviously. Polian was great at what he did for a long, long haul. His design was all over the Peyton Manning Era.
But with Grigson, Colts fans get a man who is confident in his personnel evaluations and approach and his plans for the future of the franchise.
In an era where everything seems to be for public consumption at any time, why not embrace it?
“I'm not big on smokescreens,” Grigson said. “I just don't feel the need for cloak and dagger. I'm just going to focus on my job and doing my job 100 percent of the time.”
As a result, Grigson doesn't spend a lot of time talking to other team executives without a strict purpose. He's not fishing for information nor hinting at moves with others to try and read into everyone else's plans.
Remember, this is a man whose first draft including back-to-back tight ends, which no outsiders or analysts predicted. By the looks of Dwayne Allen's first season, that was a pretty good call.
But while Grigson isn't fishing for info from other teams, he acknowledges that he does look at the mock drafts that pop up like internet daffodils this time of year.
“I'd be lying to say I don't look at it,” Grigson said, reinforcing that no-bull approach.
“We don't sit there and get scared or let it affect our process in any way, shape or form,” Grigson said. “But if somebody sneaks into one that we thought had first-round value and didn't think anybody else did, there's something to be said for that.”
Grigson said the Colts will consider players at almost every position as they make final preparations for the draft. They won't be picking a quarterback, which is not exactly a scoop.
Grigson balked at the idea that this draft is not a glamorous one.
He said most years it takes a while to determine the value of a draft pick. Andrew Luck at No.1 last year was an exception, of course.
“The game is won and lost in the trenches,” Grigson said. “This is a really good trench draft. There are a lot of good players on both sides of the ball in linemen.”
Maybe Grigson doesn't play minds games, but one could assume his interest in linemen holds some connection to the Colts' needs. Defensive tackles and guards remain a possibility.
Grigson talked with the media Thursday at the Colts practice complex prior to the release of the NFL schedule. But reporters were already asking about the game of the year for Colts fans – the day Manning and the Broncos come to town.
“It's going to be fun,” Grigson said, leaving out the other words facing Colts fans, such as bittersweet, melancholy and disorienting.
“He's a great player; Andrew's a great player,” Grigson said. “It's two great organizations. Like any other game, we'll be trying to win, he'll be trying to win and at the end of the day the team that scores the most points wins it.”
Grigson followed that with the coy smile of someone who knows the media hype for that game will be off the chart. But he's also someone who embraces that sort of hyped-game and believes that he knows how to assemble the team to win it.
Grigson said the Colts start with a pool of “12,000” players and whittles it down.
In that respect, the 24th player picked can be quite a valuable asset.
“If you look back 10 years, it's usually a pretty good player there,” Grigson said. “I'm optimistic.”
Those off-field issues or discipline problems that might dampen some scouts' enthusiasm r? Grigson says that's what interviews and research should cover.
The draft, Grigson said after signing a bunch off free agents his offseason, is the “lifeblood of an organization.”
If he senses a player can make an impact, even if that player is looking for a second chance, Grigson said the Colts will consider him.
“You want the guy who's hungry,” Grigson said.
Grigson has an idea who the Colts will draft at No.24 if that player is available. He hasn't seen a mock draft get it right yet, he said.
Now there might be a just a smidgen of bull in that statement. Grigson grinned like a guy who's having fun at this job and, so far, is doing that job awfully well.