INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Grigson relishes the challenge of delving deep into the college pool to find some unknown gem.
The Colts general manager doesn’t have much choice this year.
Grigson goes into Thursday with no first-round pick and isn’t scheduled to make a selection until No. 59, five picks from the end of Round 2. And for the first time in Grigson’s three years in Indy, there’s no obvious choice or direction on how to use his top selection.
“It’s different because there’s going to be, I wouldn’t say weaker, but a lesser grouping of top talent available at that spot,” he said. “But you’re still going to hope that one of those guys that you have in that upper group falls to you.”
But just because Grigson doesn’t have a first-round pick now doesn’t mean he won’t have one by the end of Thursday.
He’s made 16 trades since the Colts hired him in January 2012, including the deal that sent this year’s No. 1 pick to Cleveland for running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in 2012. It’s no secret Grigson will be working the phone lines this week, too.
One potential problem: The Colts don’t appear to have a lot of trade bait.
Because of Grigson’s previous deals, Indy starts draft weekend with only five picks — none Thursday, one in each of Friday’s two rounds, and three more Saturday when the final four rounds are held. Then again, Grigson hasn’t been afraid to deal future draft picks if he thinks he can find immediate help for a team that has won 21 regular-season games and been to the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
“Hopefully they (the phone lines) are ringing because if there is a player there and the whole room is kind of ho-hum and you’re like ‘It fills a need,’ that’s not the type of environment we want to create,” Grigson said. “We want excitement when we are turning that card in. We want guys high-fiving, not doing limp handshakes.”