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News » Indianapolis Colts Inside Slant 2009-04-18

Indianapolis Colts Inside Slant 2009-04-18

Indianapolis Colts Inside Slant 2009-04-18
Indianapolis will have eight picks, including four of the top 136, to work with in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Don't expect the Colts to trade to move up 10 or 15 spots. If past drafts are any indication, team president Bill Polian would prefer to move down out of the first round to early in the second round if, and that's a big if, the player (or players) that he's looking for have a chance to be available.

That was the case in 2001, when he went from the 22nd pick of the first round to the 30th position to select wide receiver Reggie Wayne. And in 2004, Polian moved down from late in the first round to early in the second when he took safety Bob Sanders.

There is an outside chance, however, that he could move up in the middle selections of the first round if he feels that it's necessary to get the right player. It's safe to say, though, that trying to figure out which direction Polian will move is anybody's guess.

A veteran of the draft process since 1978 when he was a scout with the Kansas City Chiefs, Polian has been known to hold his cards very close to his chest. While that trait us fairly common around the league, he has become a master at it.

As for what positions the Colts are looking to improve in the draft, Polian won't say. He intimated earlier this offseason that defensive tackle would probably be where Indianapolis would be looking first. A week later, however, he said that receiver was a priority. And that was before the team released veteran receiver Marvin Harrison.

And when push finally comes to shove, don't be too surprised if Polian goes a different direction.

"You measure the talent available to you and you try to measure their talent as best you can, and all of the other concerns you come to the tab

le with," he said recently. "Then, you try to take the best player. I just think you try to take the best player, basically.

"We don't draft specific need almost anywhere. If the need line and talent line cross, then fine, but we try always to take the best player."

He uses the selection of Wayne as his prime example of his philosophy.

"When it came time to pick, we didn't have a consensus on a defensive player," Polian said. "There was Reggie sticking out like a sore thumb, as the best player. We said, 'Take him.' It worked out fine."

And then move on from there.

"Because of the nature of (the media), you guys focus on the first round," he continued. "We're probably past that faster than you can blink an eye and focused on all of the rest of (the draft)."

TEAM NEEDS: Wide receiver, defensive tackle, linebacker, running back, cornerback.

WR -- With Marvin Harrison gone and the jury still out on backups Roy Hall and Pierre Garcon, the Colts need to find a big-play receiver to help get the usual high-scoring offense back on track. Indianapolis likes receivers who are smart, disciplined and also seasoned route runners.

DT -- Getting bigger along the defensive line continues to be a goal. The Colts need to bolster both their physicality and size up front without giving up athleticism and speed. While the Colts are still gauging the cost to get that type of player in the draft, there are indications that there are a couple of defensive tackles in the draft pool fitting that description.

LB -- Improve the overall depth at all three linebacking positions. Indianapolis is always looking for playmakers with speed over sheer size, especially at weak-side and strong-side linebacker. Finding a dependable backup to middle linebacker Gary Brackett would be good, especially considering he is returning from a lower leg injury that sidelined him for the last month of the regular season in 2008.

RB -- Questions abound at running back for the Colts. If veteran Dominic Rhodes does not return, Indianapolis is left with Mike Hart, who continues to rehab from knee surgery, along with Chad Simpson and Lance Ball to serve as backups to starter Joseph Addai. Both Simpson and Ball showed some ability late last season, but additional depth would be good.

CB -- While Kelvin Hayden returns after signing a contract extension in the offseason, Marlin Jackson and Michael Coe both continue to recover from knee surgeries. Top backup Keiwan Ratliff is an unrestricted free agent and has not been re-signed as of yet. Tim Jennings played well at times last year but needs to develop more consistency. Dante Hughes has yet to emerge and could be passed on the depth chart if the Colts find a player they view as a better fit in this draft.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

Ryan Diem Name: Ryan Diem
Position: OT
Age: 29
Experience: 8 years
College: Northern Illinois
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