Colts finally take defensive player in 5th round
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts are finally starting to pay attention to the defense.
After taking Andrew Luck on Thursday and adding two tight ends and a receiver on Friday, new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky got some say in the draft picks.
Indy took Alabama's massive defensive tackle Josh Chapman with its first pick in the fifth round Saturday, perhaps the first chapter of a defensive overhaul that could be just as sweeping as what they're doing on offense.
"I'm glad to be a part of the Colts and this whole process,'' Chapman told local reporters on a conference call. "They're a 3-4 defensive team and I love playing nose guard.''
Indy fans aren't used to hearing that, but they certainly can use a nose guard.
For more than a decade, the Colts have played a 4-3 defense. But new coach Chuck Pagano prefers the 3-4 system, and if Manusky is going to implement that style this season, Indy had to get bigger up front and deeper overall.
Chapman fills both holes.
At 6-foot-1, 316 pounds, Chapman has grown accustomed to taking on double teams and helped anchor the line of an Alabama defense that led the Crimson Tide to last season's national championship. And Chapman said he likes having that role on a team.
But he has another trait the Colts covet, toughness.
Though some thought he might have been a second or third-round pick when the college season began, Chapman tore the ACL in his left knee on Oct. 1 against Florida. A few days later, he was given too options: season-ending knee surgery or play with the torn ACL. Chapman figured he didn't really have a choice.
"I wanted to win a championship, so I decided to keep playing and did what I had to do,'' he said.
He wound up getting the ring and earning second-team all-SEC honors before having surgery Jan. 17, just eight days after the Tide beat LSU 21-0 in the BCS title game at New Orleans.
Chapman said he's about 50 percent right now and said doctors have told him he should be ready to play sometime in June or July, just in time for training camp.
In the meantime, the Colts hope 345-pound Brandon McKinney can fill the gap. McKinney left Baltimore as a free agent and signed with the Colts earlier this month.
And there's a good chance, with five more picks Saturday, that the Colts aren't finished with the defense.
They're still looking for bigger linebackers and still in need of a cornerback to help what was a pass defense that was one of the worst in NFL history.
Indy's second fifth-round pick is No. 170 overall.
The Colts have already made sweeping changes on offense. They took Luck to replace Peyton Manning on Thursday. On Friday, they added tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen to replace Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme and speedy receiver T.Y. Hilton to give Luck a new deep threat.