INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Grigson doesn’t come to the NFL combine rooting against anyone.
But he sort of does.
In 2012 as a first year GM, he wasn’t upset when a couple players he already really liked -- tight end Dwayne Allen and running back Vick Ballard -- ran slower than many evaluators would have liked or expected.
The less-than-blazing times hurt the stock of the two prospects a bit for some of Grigson’s competition. That gave Grigson a chance to pounce on two players -- Allen in the third round, Ballard in the fifth -- who wound up helping the Colts win 11 games in a rebuilding year and get to the playoffs.
The Colts are looking for both of them to be key pieces for the franchise going forward.
“I personally love when that happens,” Grigson said of a combine slip. “Because I’ve learned lessons from starting at the bottom, from being a scout at the very lowest level, at the entry level, and watching draft boards get way out of whack. I just cataloged that and took mental notes. When Anquan Boldin fell down draft boards because of the timed speed, and at the beginning of the process he was way up there? You’ve got to make note of that.
“But you also have to temper it with you don’t want to take a guy too early when you love him when the market is bearing he be taken later. It’s still a risk. Because if you try to trade back, it just takes one other team to be thinking like you are.”
So take heart, guys who don't run as fast as they hoped while you’re in Indy.
A decision-maker may be watching that thinking, "I really love that guy, I really want that guy, and that may have just helped him slip to me."