With the second day in the books, Colts fans have to be reasonably pleased with the draft so far.
- The trade up to take Ijalana took us all by surprise. While we don't know everything the Colts were thinking, the timing was eerily similar to the trade up to take Tony Ugoh in 2007. At the time, Ugoh was graded much more highly by the Colts than by other teams. That lead Indy to believe they could get a second round steal. Ijalana, however, only cost the Colts a fifth round pick rather than next year's number one. We can only speculate, but the Colts obviously felt he was undervalued and couldn't wait any longer to snag him. In that scenario, you can be sure of this: he's the guy they wanted.
- Not to put too fine a point on it, but reading that Ijalana's question marks may include 'physical and mental weakness' make the Ugoh comparison's terrifying. Again, it's just a similarity, not a prophecy.
- The Colts took Ijalana in the spot the Jags sacrificed for Gabbert. If Ijalana becomes a serious player for Indy and Gabbert flames out in Jacksonville, that will be delicious.
- Some scouts were crazy high on Ijalana and think he could become the best tackle in the draft. If everything works out, the Colts might have nailed down the bookends for the next decade. Let's think happy thoughts, shall we?
- I was initially disappointed, not with the player, but the position. I never question the players Polian takes. I have no idea if guys are good or bad. I believe the team needs to take the best player available. I'm all for trading up to get an undervalued player. However, my general hope is that the BPA will happen to fall into areas of greatest need. I loved the look of Paea and when he dropped to the Bears at pick 21 (Indy's original pick), I was heartbroken. Ijalana could turn out to be a 4 time All Pro, I have no idea. I just wanted defense.
- The lockout is going to hurt the Colts as the minicamps will be critical to integrating Castonzo and Ijalana into the line. Here's hoping the temporary stay is lifted next week. The lockout ALSO keeps Indy from signing undrafted free agents. It's ALSO awful for guys like Diem and Johnson who may well have seen their pink slips drafted yesterday. They are likely unemployed and can't go find new jobs because of an illegal lockout.
- Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports and the Footballoutsiders tipped us off to Nevis yesterday. Echoing Polian's words after the draft, he called Nevis 'ideal' for Indy and said he reminded him of Booger McFarland. Obviously, that would be incredible news. Booger's play radically altered the Colts line and if you watch tapes of the Kansas City playoff game or the Super Bowl, you see what a difference he made. His injury in training camp in '07 was part of the Curse of Corey Simon. Nevis was thought by many to be a late second round pick at worst, so his slide to the Colts in the third round was coup.
- The praise for the Pats taking Ryan Mallett is hilarious. Essentially, they traded their third round pick for the possibility that in 2-3 years someone will want to give them more picks for Mallett. In the mean time, they have to pay him and use up a roster spot. It's a long term investment. It's not the worst move in the world, but it is a risk. For a team with QBs on the roster already, I'm not sure it's a great risk. If Indy had done, it would have made more sense because they only have Painter behind Manning, and that's a roster spot that could be happily sacrificed. The Mallett pick is defensible, but hardly an act of genius. Barring major injury, he'll never start for the Pats. He's just trade bait. This is a reasonable risk for the Pats, but unless they trade him for two number 1s, there's no way it becomes anything more than a reasonable pay off in the future.