Stephen HolderESPN3 minute read
INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts are doing little to deny the widely speculated idea that they are considering trading in the NFL Draft.
When asked at the scouting combine on Wednesday about the idea of trading from the No. 4 overall pick, Colts general manager Chris Ballard didn’t exactly predict such a move, but he certainly did. left the door open.
Asked what it would take for the Colts to make an aggressive move to acquire a quarterback like Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ballard was adamant.
“That we’ve just been found guilty that’s definitely the guy,” he said.
Ballard tried to cover his tracks.
“I know all the speculation there,” he said. “To move up the ladder, there’s got to be a guy who’s worthy of it. … Everyone just automatically stamps that you have to move up to [No.] 1 to do it right. I don’t know if I agree with that. But that’s going to be the narrative, and that’s okay.”
But moments later, Ballard returned to it, saying: “If, when we meet as a team and say, ‘OK, this is what we have to do. He’s the guy for the 10 next 15 years and we think he’s the right guy,” we will. But who’s to say we won’t have one to [No.] 4?”
The Colts have endured four seasons of quarterback upheaval in the post-Andrew Luck era, following the quarterback’s retirement from the franchise in 2019. The Colts haven’t been as well positioned to solve the problem in the years since, and Ballard has acknowledged that comes with some expectation of him being aggressive.
“Let’s just say we stay at 4, I can just see the headlines,” he said. “But, at the end of the day, we have to believe in who we’re going to win with who we’re going to win. And I think I said that a few years ago, it would be easy for us to take one to fuck your ass “Buddy, we have to be right and we want to be right. So we’ll do our due diligence, and at the end of the day, we’ll take who we think is the best player.”
The rare opportunity to fix the quarterback problem didn’t come easy, Ballard added.
“It took a lot of pain to get there,” he said, a reference to the Colts’ 4-12-1 record that earned them their high draft spot. “But when you’re there, you have to enjoy it.”
As for Young, the Colts have spoken openly about the size issues surrounding which player is most considered the best quarterback and whether that would prevent them from selecting him.
“We’ve seen Hall of Famers who are 6-foot tall, we’ve seen Hall of Famers who are 6-5,” coach Shane Steichen said. “Again, it’s that ‘it’ factor, isn’t it? It’s not a deal-breaker. We’ve seen it. Drew Brees is a great example. He’s phenomenal.”
Says Ballard: “He won a lot of matches on a big stage. It was never too big for him.”