NFL Wire News

Colts go for speed receiver instead of defense

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The Sports Xchange

INDIANAPOLIS — With just about everybody expecting the Indianapolis Colts to look for defensive help with their first round pick Thursday night, general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano pulled off a stunner.

Indianapolis, instead, wound up with former University of Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett when the 29th overall pick came around.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound speedster is expected to battle for playing time with second-year wide receiver Donte Moncrief, former CFL standout Duron Carter, ex-San Diego wide receiver Vincent Brown and third-year veteran Griff Whalen.

Primarily a slot receiver, Dorsett — who was clocked at 4.29 and 4.27 seconds in a 40-yard dash at his Pro Day — is also expected to be used on special teams as a punt and kickoff returner.

Grigson and Pagano admitted that the selection of yet another offensive player, particularly a wide receiver, may have been a surprise to fans and media. But they came away happy with the pick.

“It just shows that we stick to our guns when it comes to taking the best player on the board,” the Colts general manager explained after the first-round had concluded. “And that’s what we did (Thursday).”

The addition of Dorsett now gives the Colts three wide receivers who can run 40 yards in 4.4 seconds or faster, joining T.Y. Hilton and Moncrief.

He’s the first wide receiver from Miami to be selected by Indianapolis in the first round since Reggie Wayne (2001) and is the third former Hurricane to be taken by the Colts in the first round, along with Edgerrin James.

“He has to develop (as a return man) more,” Grigson said. “He’s not just a track guy. He’s a tough kid.”

Pagano acknowledged that Indianapolis’ run defense needs to be fixed. But he added that the Colts still have eight other draft picks that can be used to help shore up that much maligned area of the team’s overall defense.

“The whole (run defense) deal, we’re going to get that fixed,” the Indianapolis coach said.

“There will be people there (Friday and Saturday). We stayed true to the board.”

The Colts will be looking for help at safety, defensive line, inside and outside linebacker and cornerback over the final two days of the draft. Indianapolis is also looking for additional depth at running back, so there’s still a lot of work to be done.


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