Colts GM Chris Ballard Discusses Draft, Doubts That He’ll Select QB In First Round

With Philip Rivers retiring and Jacoby Brissett hitting free agency, the Colts will surely be looking for a quarterback this offseason. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the organization will take a signal-caller with their first-round pick. Speaking to reporters this week, general manager Chris Ballard said he doubts a worthy quarterback will fall to the Colts No. 21.

“It’s a good class,” Ballard said (via Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star). “It’s a good class. I’ll say that. They all get pushed up now. We’re seeing it. They all get pushed up. A little bit of luck has to come into play.”

Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, or Justin Fields are expected to be top-10 picks, meaning Ballard would have to pull off a significant trade to acquire any of those top-tier quarterback prospects. The general manager also made it clear that the organization wouldn’t select a quarterback for the sake of selecting a quarterback, perhaps taking them out of the running for second-tier QBs like Trey Lance and Mac Jones.

“Go back and look at first-round quarterbacks drafted over the past 10 years. Everyone just thinks you take one, and you’re going to fix the problem,” Ballard said. “Look, taking one will get y’all off my (butt) for a little bit, but the second that guy doesn’t play well, I’m gonna be the first one run out the building.

“Go back and look at first-round quarterbacks drafted over the past 10 years. Everyone just thinks you take one, and you’re going to fix the problem. Look, taking one will get y’all off my (butt) for a little bit, but the second that guy doesn’t play well, I’m gonna be the first one run out the building.”

The Colts currently have one quarterback on their active roster: 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason. The Washington product didn’t get into a game during his rookie season, and the team will surely provide him with some competition for the starting gig. However, that competition may not end up coming via the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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21 comments on “Colts GM Chris Ballard Discusses Draft, Doubts That He’ll Select QB In First Round

  1. afsooner02

    Apparently it was such an important statement, Ballard felt the need to say it twice…..

  2. kabphillie

    I’m not convinced the hiring of Sirianni by the Eagles means Wentz is staying. If the Colts offer something half decent, I think the Eagles would jump at the chance to unload him.

    • nsideindy

      I don’t think the Eagles can afford to trade Wentz this year. It would be almost a $35 million cap hit for them.

      • jessethegreat

        I’m not sure if the logistics of it, but does anyone know if the eagles could transfer a portion of Wentz’ signing bonus into roster bonuses in order to facilitate a trade? In essence, change it so the cap hit isn’t fully transferred to the cap immediately by making it so he has a 20M guaranteed roster bonus that is due after week 1 and is guaranteed for injury and or deactivation? He’d still get his money, but the team trading for him would pay it instead?

  3. Yep it is

    Ballard is a terrific GM. He isn’t going to let anyone know what he will be doing as most GM’s don’t say either. It is what they do. Saying that He knows what he is doing as proved by what that team has built since he got there. He will do the right thing. I am not a Colts fan but that organization is in good hands.

  4. j_butte

    I wonder if the Colts would give a first rounder for Jalen Hurts? Since Philly seems dead set n keeping Wentz. Hurts is better than Mac or Trask.

    • Michael Chaney

      Hurts was a second rounder last year coming out of college. What makes you think he’s worth a first rounder after an inconsistent rookie year and with one less year of cheap control?

      • j_butte

        It doesn’t matter that he was a second rounder. He’s not getting moved for a single second round pick. Matt Schaub was a 3rd rounder traded for 2 second rounders in the last year of his rookie deal. He’s shown he can play at this level.

        • nsideindy

          Hurts has shown he can play at this level…but hasn’t shown he can play well.

        • Michael Chaney

          The round he was drafted in doesn’t matter overall, but comparing him to Schaub is completely different. That was at the end of his rookie deal, and this is one year after no one was willing to use a first rounder on Hurts last year. I don’t see how he’s done enough to prove that he’s worth a first rounder this year when he wasn’t last year.

          He showed flashes this year, definitely. But what has he done to warrant his value allegedly increasing, especially when one of those years of cheap control is now gone? If you have a first round pick to burn and a need at QB, you’d be better served either taking one of the second tier guys or moving up for one of the best ones.

  5. acarneglia

    Mac Jones or Kyle Trask, maybe even Trey Lance could be late first round fliers, IF Indy takes a QB. Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, Tua could all be options potentially

  6. crosseyedlemon

    A little early to be laying down a smoke screen but Ballard is a pretty smart operator.

  7. Simmons>Russ

    He’s a very good GM think this is just a bluff.
    The team has money to spend in FA or they have pieces for making a trade.

    Wentz would’ve been a great fit, Dak could be stolen in FA, could take Mac Jones if available, they have got options

    • bradthebluefish

      Mac Jones would be a good option if they are looking to replace Phillip Rivers. Pocket passer.

      • Ak185

        I agree, but I think Jones may be gone by then. Lance is a project with a potentially high ceiling, but Jones looks like he could be a plug-and-play option for a quarterback needy team (a list which now includes Detroit and may possibly expand to include Houston ). At least, he looks more that way than Lance or Trask. This is no guarantee that Jones would be better necessarily, but a team looking for a guy to suit and start on a team already built to win might go for Jones early. I think he has a chance to be the third QB taken, and it’s likely that he’s gone before Indy picks.

  8. Pokeli

    Dak would be the ideal selection, but Dallas isn’t letting him get away. Wentz could be interesting, but that cap hit forces the Eagles to hold on to him for a little longer. Darnold is as much of a project as Wentz but the only reason they’d look at Wentz is because of the Reich connection. Stafford seems to be a perfect choice for a few years until the heir-apparent shows up.

    • Ak185

      I think that the Stafford to Indy connection is interesting, but it of course relies on Indy to go all-in with their team for another year instead of building around their new franchise starter. I could see them doing it if they don’t necessarily become enamored with the QBs available when they pick.

      Stafford going to Atlanta is an interesting wildcard to consider, but Stafford to Indy could happen, even if it’s less than likely due to compensation required. The real question there becomes whether or not Indy is comfortable rolling with a quality aged veteran to fully take advantage of their window. Stafford will require picks, and considering their recent deal to get Buckner, Indy may not be ready to complete another trade that could cost them their future quarterback.

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