Indianapolis Colts Say Final Draft Pick Harnish Is ‘Relevant’

The Indianapolis Colts, who had the first draft pick with Stanford University quarterback Andrew Luck, ended the draft yesterday with the Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish as the 253rd selection.

Luck and Harnish were among 11 quarterbacks chosen during the three-day National Football League draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

The final selection in the draft has become known as Mr. Irrelevant.

“At the end of the day, I’m just happy to be wanted by a team and I’m happy to be an Indianapolis Colt,” Harnish told reporters when asked how he felt about being Mr. Irrelevant. “I was still hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. The worst being a free agent type thing.”

Harnish said he was prepared to compete against Luck, who was selected by the Colts after they released four-time Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning.

Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson called Harnish “very smart and mobile.”

“He is relevant, because otherwise you wouldn’t burn a pick on somebody,” Grigson told reporters. “He is a really good leader and you don’t get a bad word about this guy. He’s got ability and we are happy with the pick. He was up there on our board higher than when we took him, believe me.”

‘League Getting Faster’

The New York Jets were looking for speed in their first three picks of the draft: defensive end Quinton Coples, receiver Stephen Hill and linebacker Demario Davis.

“We wanted to get faster,” said Joey Clinkscales, vice president for college scouting. “The league is getting faster.”

In the final day yesterday, the Jets took Wake Forest safety Josh Bush, and running back Terrance Ganaway and guard Robert Griffin, both from Baylor in the sixth round. They added strong safety Antonio Allen from South Carolina and Western Michigan wide receiver Jordan White in the seventh.

The New York Giants chose tight end Adrien Robinson from Cincinnati and Brandon Mosley, an offensive tackle from Auburn, in the fourth round, and Matt McCants, a tackle from Alabama at Birmingham in the sixth. North Carolina State defensive tackle Markus Kuhn was their final pick in the seventh.

“We drafted the best guys,” said Giants General Manager Jerry Reese. “It just so happened some of the best guys were offensive guys this time. We don’t go in there saying, ‘Let’s balance it out, offense and defense.’ We just try to go in there and get the best players.”

Alabama, which had the most players drafted at eight, is part of the Southeastern Conference, which saw the most players picked at 42. The Big 10 was second with 41 players selected.

In addition to 11 quarterbacks, among those drafted, were 50 defensive backs, 33 wide receivers, 33 linebackers, 24 tackles, 21 running backs, 18 each of guards and defensive tackles, 22 defensive ends, 12 tight ends, four kickers, three centers, two nose tackles and two punters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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