By Josh Roehling. Twitter: @jroehling1018
The Ghosts of Draft past are howling outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. In 16 days 32 NFL teams will ascend on New York’s Radio City Music Hall and try to stamp their future intentions by selecting players to upgrade their roster and attempt to set themselves up for the next decade at several positions. This NFL version of Russian Roulette can end just the same as it would in a movie; metaphorically speaking, you live or you die. There is no exact science to drafting. In recent years there have been models that have come out, advanced metrics, even a computer program called Eye-Scout that I would love to get my hands on to see how well it truly works. Don’t get me wrong there are some “virtual locks” when it comes to NFL drafting all you have to do is look at the two recent number 1 picks in Indianapolis history to see that, but there is also the Steve Emtmans that you should be wary of.
My top 3 Indianapolis Colts Draft “busts” are pretty much the consensus across the board, no matter what order you may put them in, they all seem to show up on the list of “busts” no matter where you read it.
- Jeff George – Oh my what can we say about this guy? He was a star at Warren Central, went to college and had himself a career and everyone was happy about having the hometown hero come play for the Colts, and that is where the fairy tale ends. From a personal view, I was turning 8 years old (yes, I’m dating myself since im still under 30, for now) during George’s rookie season. Some of the memories are from an 8 year old perspective about football, but if an 8 year old can see just how terrible George was as an NFL Quarterback then who can’t? George was the pretty boy QB who had that entitled “I’m better than you” attitude, and for some years he was better than a lot of people, then he started playing with grown men, the best of the best, the NFL. He lacked the mentality, the leadership, the dedication (just to name a few) qualities that it takes to be a good (not even great) QB in the NFL. By all means this man had the arm; it was like watching a shot put get shot out of a Civil War cannon that had 3 times too much black powder, but he is just one to show that a good arm isn’t what is going to make you a good NFL QB. The player; however, is not the entire reason (the majority yes) that this pick was a bust, it is the trade that came along with it. Jim Irsay’s father Robert, sent Andre Rison, and Chris Hinton to the Falcons BUT (WAIT FOR IT WAIT FOR IT) that is NOT all, they also sent picks that included a 1990 fifth rounder, the 91 first rounder and another 91 conditional pick. That was a huge trade obviously, a lot to give up and gamble on a player in the hopes to turn around a franchise. George was given the starting job of Trudeau and other than a brief 5-3 stretch when the pressure was completely off, he played horribly. I’m not gonna go into lengthy detail that history can be found anywhere and there is a great write-up on it over at Stampede Blue. Boy George is far and way the worst pick in Indianapolis history.
- Tony Ugoh – Trading their first round pick in 2008 to draft Ugoh in the second round of the 2007 draft they selected Tony Ugoh. This pick was awful from the get go, most likely Polians worst pick during his time in the Colts Organization. He played well at the start, then like a rock thrown into the lake he sank quickly. He had all the physical tools you could want but for whatever reason it just did not translate. My most memorable (not for good reason) moment of his was the whiffed block he had in the playoff game against the Chargers that most likely cost the Colts the game and adding to the “Peyton can’t perform in the Playoffs” argument. This choice was just awful, so awful that I don’t have a great amount of words to add to it, so that being said lets move on.
- Steve Emtman – Coming out of Washington Emtman was heralded as a great pass rusher that would add talent to a Colts team that needed it on the offensive side of the ball. Well lets just say that he sucked and it wasn’t just oxygen through a mask either. I have zero good memories of this man playing in a Colts uniform, all I have is that single punch line from when he raced down the field and afterwards needed an oxygen mask, at home, not even in Denver. A man who is expected to be such a top talent and in great shape should not need an oxygen mask after running inside a dome a length that isn’t that much farther than the cardio conditioning you would do for a warm up in the off season. This is one of the picks in the early 90’s that crippled this team until they sucked and lucked their way into the 1st round pick that brought Peyton Manning and an era of dominance to Indianapolis. I have said all that I care to say about this pick, just awful.
So as you can see the draft can be an exciting time, and it should be but please approach it with caution as there isn’t always a guarantee that these guys will pan out to meet expectations. The Colts have set themselves up great during the Free Agent period to take pressure off having to hit on all the picks like they did in 2012 (one of the best drafts I can remember). They also don’t have many picks, and if they can hit on 50% of them and upgrade at key positions for the next decade it will be a major success. Please god don’t let Grigson make the mistake that Robert Irsay did so often and destroy the bright future this team has.