After months and months of predraft hype, the 2014 NFL draft is finally in the books. The Indianapolis Colts came into the draft with just five picks due to GM Ryan Grigson's trade tendencies. The most notable of those trades, of course, was trading a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for RB Trent Richardson.
Ironically enough, Grigson's other trade that cost the Colts a round in this draft was also with Cleveland. The Colts traded their fourth-round pick last year for Cleveland's 2013 fifth-round selection, which ended up being DL Montori Hughes.
Now, some people, like Mel Kiper (subscription required), would include those trades in their grading of the Colts' 2014 draft. I disagree there, however, and will be grading Grigson and Co. by their drafting this weekend, and nothing else. However, this doesn't mean we shouldn't discuss the aforementioned trades.
So far, those trades haven't worked in the Colts' favor. Trent Richardson was a disaster in his inaugural season in Indianapolis, and Hughes made it onto the field for just 74 snaps in four games during his rookie year. Obviously, both of these players can still develop. Richardson certainly has potential that caused him to be drafted No. 3 overall in 2012, and Hughes did flash some positive signs in 2013.
But considering what we know right now, those trades have produced inadequate results. It's even more frustrating when you consider the price. A first-round pick for a running back is terrible value for any back that's not a Hall of Fame type of talent, especially since that pick was from a draft laden with more talent than any in recent memory. With the Hughes trade, Grigson gave up a fourth-round pick in a loaded, deep draft with loads of talent in the middle rounds for a fifth-round pick in a draft with much less depth.
Those picks could have been used to fill a vital need in the 2014 draft: the defensive backfield. Safeties Deone Bucannon and Jimmie Ward would have been available in the first round, while the run on second and third-tier cornerbacks came in the early fourth and fifth rounds.
There is no defense of those trades at the moment. The Colts gave up valuable picks for very little in return. For comparison, the Browns used those picks to draft dynamic quarterback prospect Johnny Manziel and high-ceiling cornerback Pierre Desir.
But what's done is done. The Colts didn't have those picks, and we'll judge their draft solely on what they did draft. With plenty of holes on the roster, the Colts' potential directions were limitless. So what did they do, why did they do it and was it the right direction?
We look at all of those questions and more in our final reflection on the 2014 NFL draft.