Colts: Chris Ballard given extremely high honors in NFL survey

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 21: Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 21: Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Colts general manager Chris Ballard is highly regarded throughout the NFL.

The Indianapolis Colts are fortunate enough to have enjoyed lengthy periods of front office stability across the last 20 years. Bill Polian, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015 as a general manager, deserves most of the credit for that, as he was the mastermind behind the highly successful Peyton Manning era.

After Polian retired, Ryan Grigson took over for a five-year stretch from 2012-2016, during which the Colts made three playoff appearances and mustered a 49-31 record.

Amazingly enough, Indianapolis now has another GM in Chris Ballard that already appears be one of the very best in the NFL, despite taking over just three seasons ago. In fact, a recent survey conducted by 30 official player agents voted the 51-year-old as the league’s premier talent evaluator and most trusted executive.

This recognition is rightfully deserved, as Ballard hasn’t made a false move since his tenure started in 2017. For starters, he’s managed Andrew Luck’s health and subsequent shocking retirement swimmingly. To think that the Colts were in the playoff picture for the majority of the 2019 season just months after their Pro Bowl quarterback abruptly called it a career only amplifies how well Ballard has constructed the roster.

Ballard’s 2018 Draft class — which features offensive lineman Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith, as well as stud linebacker Darius Leonard — was spectacular, and will go down as the group that spearheaded Indianapolis’ new long-term foundation.

As presently constructed, the Colts roster is ready to win now, and they would undoubtedly be perennial Super Bowl contenders had Grigson prioritized keeping Luck upright with a stable offensive line. Because of Ballard, the franchise is headed in a direction that could feature sustained success for an extended period of time.

All that’s left for him to do is find Indy its quarterback of the future. Considering the assets at his disposal and the sheer cap space the team will have come 2021, chances are that happens sooner rather than later.

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