Published April 30, 2012
| Sports Network
1 - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (6-4, 234); 2 - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford (6-6, 247); 3 - Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson (6-3, 255); 3 - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International (5-10, 183); 5 - Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama (6-1, 316); 5 - Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State (5-10, 219); 6 - LaVon Brazill, WR, Ohio (5-11, 192); 7 - Justin Anderson, OT, Georgia (6-4, 335); 7- Tim Fugger, OLB, Vanderbilt (6-3, 248); 7 - Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois (6-2, 219)
Top Picks Analysis: The Colts officially ushered in their new era of football with the entirely expected selection of Luck with the No. 1 overall pick, then proceeded to get their hopeful franchise quarterback a few playmakers to build around. Owner Jim Irsay and general manager Ryan Grigson made the right call at the top, as Luck is a strong-armed and very accurate passer with above- average mobility and an advanced knowledge of the pro game that's almost unheard of at the collegiate level. The cerebral young signal-caller will also have a familiar face to work with off the bat, with Indianapolis tabbing fellow Stanford product Fleener with the second choice of the second round. Adept at both getting down the seam and catching the ball in traffic, Luck's old and new teammate adds a needed weapon to the Colt's receiving arsenal. Fleener isn't much of a blocker, however, which prompted the choice of Allen in the next round. The 2011 Mackey Award recipient is a better in-line performer as well as a solid receiver that will allow offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to employ two-tight looks. Another pass-catcher was added to the mix when Indy traded up near the end of the third round for Hilton, a speedy and shifty slot receiver with dangerous open-field skills whose biggest impact as a rookie may be as a return man.
Best Value Pick: Chapman was an important anchor on Alabama's BCS championship defense who fell to the fifth round mostly because of a knee injury that required surgery this past winter. Though his medical history is concerning, he's a stout run stopper who could open the season as a starting nose tackle on Indianapolis' new-look defense.
Questionable Calls: The Colts are in the process of converting to a 3-4 scheme under new head coach Chuck Pagano, yet only two of the club's 10 picks were allotted to that side. A particular overlook was at cornerback, where there isn't a proven commodity other than returning starter Jerraud Powers on the current roster.
Summary: The defense remains a trouble spot after Grigson's virtual disregard of that unit, but landing a young quarterback of Luck's caliber always ensures a positive grade. Fleener, Allen and Chapman were good picks as well, which also helps offset those other oversights.
FINAL GRADE: B