close
close

Colts general manager Chris Ballard is open to trading up or down draft order if the situation is right

As he mentioned, in his seven seasons as Colts GM Ballard has completed pivotal trades that moved in both directions, bringing some of the franchise’s cornerstones to Indianapolis via a carefully crafted pick exchange. In 2020, a deal with the Browns to move up to No. 41 overall netted him Taylor, who has obviously played a crucial role in the offense since joining the team. And earlier in that same draft, the Colts selected wide receiver Michael Pittman with a second-round pick they acquired by trading away from the first round in 2019. The wideout has rewarded them with two 1,000+ receiving yard seasons so far and just signed a contract. new extension.

Whether Ballard makes another move with this year’s No. 15 pick will likely depend on what happens with the draft’s first few selections. The GM isn’t ruling out trading a few picks for a player he believes is “unique and makes a difference,” but moving down could prove more fruitful with better chances of finding the diamond in the rough, as he said. .

The Colts are at the lower end of the roster spectrum with just seven selections. Only four teams will pick less often (nine others also have seven picks), making increasing the amount of capital through a trade a potentially attractive option.

As for which positions Indy could target with their first few picks wherever they end up, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter has cornerback, safety, running back, wide receiver and offensive linemen as needs for the Colts.

Ballard specifically emphasized depth at both the wide and attacking lines. The Colts have a solid trio of Pittman, Alec Pierce and Josh Downs at WR, but could still use some depth there. While Indy hasn’t lost any of their 2023 offensive linemen, Ballard repeatedly emphasized that protection “always comes first,” especially with second-year signal caller Anthony Richardson set to return from shoulder surgery.

“There are a few positions that have real depth,” he said. “Like, the O-line in this draft is really excellent, and there’s depth all over it. I really believe you’re going to get a really good player in those mid-rounds and even later, because of the depth of the group. And wideouts look a lot like each other. Those two position groups stand out, they are both very good.”

The Colts and the rest of the league will see how the picks shake out Thursday night in Detroit.