After days of teasing the a deal, Jim Irsay's Colts pulled the trigger on a deal that sent a 2013 2nd-round draft pick and a conditional 2013 6th-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for CB Vontae Davis. Davis, who weighs in at 5'11" and 205lbs, was the Dolphins 1st-round selection in the 2009 draft. Now 24-years old, Davis played 44 of a possible 48 games, and has hauled in 9 interceptions in his 3 years with the Dolphins.
Our take after the jump:
That the Colts were (and probably still are) desperate for help at the CB position should come as a surprise to no one who is paying attention. GM Grigson's strategy of throwing 100 warm bodies at the position has yet to yield anyone who looks worthy of more than the 4th or 5th spot on the depth chart, and Saturday's injury to starter Jerraud Powers certainly did nothing to alleviate those concerns.
But the bigger question, in our mind, is: does it matter? While the Colts have surely shown some promise during the preseason, even the most optimistic of Colts fans has to realize that the 2012 Colts are not one piece away from contention. And while CB is definitely one of their most pressing needs, one has to wonder if protecting the future of the franchise, Andrew Luck, shouldn't have been the higher priority, leaving CB (and S, and DE, and ILB) for the 2013 draft and off-season.
And this is to say nothing of Davis himself. Davis is a good player, who, by all accounts, has tons of talent and untapped potential. So why, to this point, has Davis been little more than a good, solid player, as opposed to a dynamic, play-making CB? The answer seems to be maturity.
So while a Davis-Powers (should he be able to get, and remain, healthy) would certainly stabilize the Colts CB situation, is a Davis, with all of his questions and potential baggage, worth a 2nd-round pick?
In today's NFL climate, my immediate reaction is no. The Colts were able to nab Coby Fleener with their 2nd round pick this year: a dynamic tight end who will be a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses for years to come. The player the Colts could have potentially drafted with their 2013 2nd round pick would have been younger, under contract for longer (Davis has 2 years left on his rookie contract), potentially more dynamic, and with fewer question marks.
That said, Davis will be an immediate, vast improvement over anyone else the Colts would have trotted out at CB this year. He should be a good fit in the Colts scheme, and, again, the Colts will have stabilized their CB in the short term, allowing Grigson to focus his attention on other, more glaring needs. So while I believe Grigson overpaid for Davis, I also don't believe the Colts or their fans will look back on this trade with bitterness or disdain.
That second rounder would have been a great spot to find an offensive lineman to plug in for the horrible mess that is out there right now. It's nice to have a young corner with potential, but this being a rebuilding year, I don't see why that needed to happen now. It would have been a lot smarter to use whatever available resources there were to make sure Luck doesn't get smeared across the Lucas Oil turf on a regular basis. Protect that QB!
@Special K You mean like the 2nd round pick they spent on ijalana last yr only to land on ir two years in a row.
Can probably add the same type quality O-lineman, or close, from FA next year if we are willing to spend, that we could in the draft. Also I don't think everyone in the organization, especially the head guys think this is a "rebuilding year." Finally rebuilding year or not our secondary was atrocious, we had to do something, and I think we did more than something and have guy that could stick around for a very long time as a quality CB in this league.
Oh yeah forgot I think the front office likes Justice, although his play has been iffy at time he offers leadership and is a decent option in a "rebuilding" year. As far as guard, I expect we will pick up a guy from the waiver wire, what Olsen did last week was ridiculous, and even if McGlynn is going to be back soon, we need a guy to push him as a back up or potentially take his spot.
I will say that our secondary play is much worst than our line play, and I see the need to protect Luck but I like the signing.
Hard to criticize this considering how the Colts have drafted in the second round (or even late first) for the last five years. Davis is definitely better than all of them with the possible exceptions of Castonzo, Angerer and Fleener (But I'd take him over Addai, Jennings, Gonzalez, Ugoh, Pollack, Brown, Moala, Hughes and Ijalana.)
And that's without Davis living up to his potential. If he becomes a top corner then I'll view it as a fleecing of Miami, and with two years left on his contract, we can still trade him next year, or if he fits in well, we will have a ton of cap room to resign him to another long-term deal. This doesn't scream win now to me. This just seems like a calculated risk. Sure it might backfire and I always have an issue with players with maturity issues, but if it works out we could have gotten a top 10 corner for years to come at a fraction of the cost.
"The Colts were able to nab Coby Fleener with their 2nd round pick this year: a dynamic tight end who will be a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses for years to come."
You are aware that draft picks don't have guaranteed success, right? Easing on the certainties will help in assessing the true value of what the Colts gave up here.
@talkingplayoffs i was totally unaware! thanks for the heads up.
Vontae Davis may not work here, has question marks surrounding him, including those about his maturity and work ethic.
You may or may not want to consider this when judging your worry level.
If you read the entire piece, I said that, on the whole, the deal would probably be fine, albeit an overpayment. I don't see Davis busting out with the Colts. That said, they don't need him this year, and they likely won't need him next year (to contend).
I also think it's probably a bad philosophy to go into a trade saying, of your 1st or 2nd round picks, 'well, we may have missed on that guy anyhow."
My first thought was that I like it. I know Davis has been inconsistent, but let's be honest, since he's been on the team, the Dolphins have been inconsistent themselves, along with being horrible in general. As others have said, I trust Pagano to work his magic as a former DB coach to keep Davis in line and get the most out of him. At the very least, we now have two solid corners, which should help make our defense much better, as long as we can get some kind of consistent pressure without having to do too many blitzes.
Our priorities for the next draft have now been upgraded to just: OL, DT, S, and ILB. Scratch off CB, or save CB for the later rounds only.
I'm betting our 1st rounder is a DT, then we sign a few OL in free agency, maybe a safety, too. Really excited to see what Grigson, now known as an "aggressive" GM, does with the approx. $40M in cap space next year. Should be fun!
Last thing, I know we all wanted an offensive linemen to help luck, but the problem with linemen is that good ones don't get traded. When was the last time you heard of a top flight linemen getting traded? you don't because good ones are always kept. Grigson just needs to try his hand at FA or the draft to find Luck quality help up front
This price was alright to spend. Sure it is a little steep, but consider that we have plenty of cap space next season to acquire pieces. to me, it balances itself out
After watching Davis' highlight reel I think 2nd round for him is quite a steal. His potential is amazing, his skills are incredible and I'm sure Pagano will know what to do with his talents...From how aggressive Grigson has been this offseason it's safe to assume that he is thinking this team needs to win now and be in contention for at least a playoff spot this year. Giving away an early round draft pick may seem like much but draft classes are constantly changing as the draft draws closer. So a draft choice that we hope is there, for example like now former LSU CB Tyrann Matheiu, might not be there and we won't be guaranteed the level of play that Davis brings with him.
I'm sure OL will be addressed through the waiver wire even though we can't expect to have this taken care from a few pick ups. Grigson only just (possibly) fixed the CB position and that took a lot of digging. Let's hope that he is able to get everything sorted by the season opener.
@12to87 I think most fans share your opinion. We're getting a proven CB (former 1st round pick) for a 2nd. No team can count on any pick working out, so it's like we got a guy for our 2nd that we know will work out.
Yes, the O-Line is the glaring weakness. I love the way Grigson attempts to improve positions, even if it's just a minor upgrade. You know the coaches are seeing the same thing as us and are waiting for that waiver wire. We can't expect miracles. But we can expect Arians to max protect the franchise this season. Even if it means we don't win as many games.
@BDiddy Vontae was a first round pick just 3 years ago and though he hasn't been at the high end of where he was projected to be, he has performed quite well, still. Being so young, he has a good chance to be able to live up to expectations. He has good ball skills and is a more physical corner than any we have on our roster. With his frame, he can also be a run-stopper and has exhibited some solid tackling, one sticking out in my mind is last year when he took out a block and stopped CJ Spiller when he appeared to have a walk-in TD.
@7IHd I don't think he'll be a bad player and he is certainly an upgrade, but I still think they overspent.
With where the Colts will probably draft this amounts to basically a first round draft pick.
@AJ_ @BDiddy @7IHd yeah that goes back to people having unrealistic expectations for low first round picks. I'm sure you've read nate and Scotts work on them
I look for Pagano (a DB specialist) to tap into this guys potential. High price? Maybe. But it might be worth it!
That's a high price to spend, but Davis is supposed to have all the physical talent in the world. If he can develop into a upper-level corner, it'll be a good move.
@MrNFL Draft picks are overrated and drafting can be very hit or miss. Colts spent 3rd round pick on Thomas only to trade him for two depth chart lb's. now Thomas is cut in Philly so I would say he was a big miss. If Davis played the way he played in Mia which is good then it's a good pick to get such a young proven player. The odds of getting a player as good as Davis is slim in the draft. This was a good move by both teams Miami wants to rebuild colts wanna win. I would trade draft pick for a proven player anyday
I am fine with this trade. We got next year's 1st rounder for a 2nd and conditional 6th. And guess what? We still have our 2013 1st rounder ! How does Washington's draft pick cupboard look after swapping the ranch for the priviledge of drafting RGIII ?
Pagano and the veterans on the roster will straighten this kid out, and we will look back on this trade next April as an unadulterated STEAL !
OK ! Now, let's beef up the offensive line to keep Andrew healthy.
@wyatt beefing up the o line is not the priority. I believe a starting line of costanzo reitz satele macglin justice. Macglin was hurt Seth Olsen played he is garbage. Justice didn't play well but that starting o line while not the best o line in the world, is good enough to start. Depth can be addressed with the waiver wire. Nfl is a passing league top caliber offenses would have shredded the colts. With this trade u can tell the colts are trying to win now regardless of the rookie qb situation
@Special K @wyatt Nobody wants to roll the dice ideally colts would have pro bowl players at all positions. Upgrading lineman to protect luck is tricky. That would mean upgrading right tackle. They can get better lineman and move costanzo to the right but they want costanzo to become franchise lt so that's unlikely. I dnt see any potential tackles the colts could trade for that would be significantly better than justice without being better than costanzo. O line needs time to jell I feel a patient approach to building the o line would be much better we just have to hope luck fb frame can take a beating cus this is the team we got for better or worse
@Payton @wyatt I feel what matters most for oline is chemistry among themselves and with the qb. That being said from a skill standpoint justice and macglyn are better than linkenbach and Olsen...not to mention more starting experience while they aren't great players, they are still an improvement. Pollak is prob worst rg I can remember. Luck isn't manning and he will take sacks but in nfl where 3qbs threw for 5000 yards it would have been ridiculous to start season with only one decent corner. Davis isn't decent he is good
@mr_yannex @Payton @wyatt I'd say this line is worse, if only in the context that Luck is not Manning, though phenomenal for a rookie. At least the middle of the line was passable in pass protection, it's definitely not now. Everything from Satele to the right has been bad at run and pass blocking. There also isn't as much proven talent on the offensive side of the ball either.
@Payton @wyatt This line is no worse than the line the colts had manning last 3 yrs when Johnson was left tackle so I would say he this Line is good enough to start. Skins d line is top rate and so is pittsburg so I would say def good enough
I really like the trade, but there certainly is a lot of validity to the argument that, hey, maybe we should have shored up the OL first.
Cornerback is the position that makes me most nervous in the draft. It is such a critical position, and yet it seems like more of a crap shoot than others. To obtain a solid, proven player, even if not a shut down guy is a good safe move.
As for this season and keeping Luck upright, I am sure you have not forgotten that the Colt's get first dibs on players released over the next week. It is going to be tough to trust this unproven brain trust.
I don't know about the comment of getting a guy in the 2nd that clearly has those attributes. In this years draft there were only 2 CB's taken in the 2nd, one has as many if not more character issues than Davis, and possibly the same potential, the other is not close.
The draft is often overrated, and many players never turnout to be what you expect, just to add, since the year he has been drafted there have been no CB's that have gone in the 2nd round that I would take over him.
Also as far as trading away the 2nd, we will have a decent amount of money next year, and while building through the draft takes some time going through free agency(when you pay for quality) is a much faster fix. I expect us to address a lot of positions of need through that route, instead of through the draft.
@paulcareyjr Good point about the money next year. it will be strange to see the Colts active in FA season.
I agree completely that protecting Luck should be our top (only) priority this year. Its appears that the offensive Lines across the board league wide is problematic. After yesterdays game the OL scares me. I don't want another David Carr. at this rate, I'm hoping Luck plays in at least 12 games.
@silentkmantab Luck makes faster decisions than Carr and certainly gets the ball out faster. For all the pressure he's been facing he's been sacked relatively few times. That's not to say he isn't taking hits, but hopefully they straighten that out and replace Seth Olsen with a waiver pick up.