Speculation continues to swirl about the Colts’ front office and coaching jobs as owner Jim Irsay remains silent. Here at Blue HQ, we decided to take a look at the top ten worst moves through General Manager Ryan Grigson’s tenure in Indianapolis. Keep in mind, this list is solely for pleasure and our own opinion. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
10. Todd Herremans
The first travesty on our list is former offensive lineman Todd Herremans. Herremans was a former Philadelphia Eagle who was brought to Indianapolis to help bolster a weak offensive line. The problem was, he only managed to start a lackluster two games for the Colts. After an 0-2 start, Herremans was benched before being waived in December of that season. The fact that he had such a small contract keeps him at tenth on our list.
9. Phillip Dorsett
Phillip Dorsett is a player who has never had the popular vote since being drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft and perhaps on a different team or situation, he would never appear on a list like this. Dorsett was almost universally a head-scratcher among fans when he was selected in the draft due to Indianapolis’s glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball. 2016 Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro Safety Landon Collins was drafted just four picks later to start the second round. Thus far in his career, Dorsett has managed just 51 receptions for 753 yards and three touchdowns. Dorsett could still turn things around and get off of this list but time is starting to run out for the young receiver.
8. D’Joun Smith
D’Joun Smith came to Indianapolis full of promise. After trading down four spots in the 2015 draft, the Colts selected Smith with the 65th-overall pick. Expectations were immediately high as Smith announced in a post-draft interview that he could “fit any scheme” and that he would “probably be the best cornerback to play the game.” Injuries limited Smith as he lasted just one full season before being waived in September of 2016. The “greatest cornerback to play” only mustered one tackle in Indianapolis.
7. Trent Cole
If you were to look for the best examples of why building a team through free agency is a bad idea, this is example one. Trent Cole, another former Eagle, was signed by Grigson for a plump 2-year $16 million dollar contract after he was released by Philadelphia. In his two seasons in Indianapolis, Cole has been about as productive as the BMV on Christmas, amassing five sacks and 32 tackles in 21 games.
6. Greg Toler
Greg Toler came to Indianapolis with the hopes of complementing Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. Unfortunately, the only thing Toler complemented was the training room as he was commonly injured, never completing all 16 season games while in Indianapolis. When he was healthy, Toler never seemed to click, allowing opposing quarterbacks to routinely expose him for big plays.
5. Andre Johnson
As mentioned above, if you are into free agency busts, this slot is for you. Andre Johnson arrived in Indianapolis as a player with nothing left in the tank. A legend in Houston, Johnson never found his groove with the Colts. After signing a 3-year $21 million dollar contract, he lasted one season, playing in 14 games and accumulating 41 receptions, 503 yards and four touchdowns.
4. LaRon Landry
LaRon Landry earned the nickname “Dirty 30” while with the Redskins for his jersey number and aggressive play. While in Indianapolis, the “Dirty 30” name could be interpreted to have a completely different meaning. Landry signed a near $30 million dollar contract at $24 million over four years. He also was unable to stay clean, earning suspensions for banned substances. Starting 18 games during his Indianapolis tenure Landry racked up 107 tackles.
3. Bjoern Werner
Another example of third-world scouting, Werner was selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Werner was brought to Indianapolis with the hope of complementing the pass rush with Robert Mathis. The hopes never came to fruition, however, as Werner is no longer in the NFL. The real stinger in this example: three of the next five players drafted were Xavier Rhodes, DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson. Le’Veon Bell was also drafted in the first half of the second round. All four of these players are now Pro Bowlers.
2. Trent Richardson
The Trent Richardson trade is a trade that will forever live in infamy with Colts fans. Richardson was the 3rd overall selection in the 2012 Draft. After trading what turned out to be the 26th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Richardson quickly proved who won the trade, displaying the backfield vision of Ray Charles. Rushing for a total of 977 yards and six touchdowns in two seasons with the Colts, Richardson was released in March of 2015. The only thing that keeps this move at number two on our list is the lack of impact players at the 26th spot in the 2014 Draft.
2013 NFL Draft
Remember Bjoern Werner from our third spot? Turns out the entirety of that 2013 NFL Draft is the shining example of bad moves for Grigson. The 2013 Colts’ draft class has zero remaining players on the team and almost all of Grigson’s selections that year are no longer in the league. After Werner, four of the next seven selections turned into Pro Bowlers. The Colts then proceeded to draft Hugh Thornton eight picks ahead of defensive tackle Brandon Williams, Khaled Holmes five picks ahead of William Gholston, and Montori Hughes five picks ahead of Kenny Stills. Overall, this draft could be not only the worst draft in Colts’ history, but one of the worst in league history.