Colts GM Chris Ballard was brutally honest when asked about drafting a quarterback in the first round.
The Indianapolis Colts were fortunate enough to have stability at the quarterback position for the better part of the last two decades, so they’re really entering uncharted territory this offseason.
That impossibly long streak can be tied to the selections of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck with a few different No. 1 overall picks in the draft. When you consider that those picks turned out to be home runs and that they don’t currently have a starter lined up for next season, it would be reasonable to assume that the Colts would pounce on a quarterback with the No. 21 selection this year, right?
Not so fast. While speaking to reporters in what turned out to be an offseason preview of sorts, general manager Chris Ballard went semi-scorched earth when asked about the growing pressure to select a quarterback with that pick.
Ballard has established a reputation for being brutally honest during press conferences and this savage quote proves that. More importantly, however, his response should reassure the fan base that he’s the perfect man for the job.
After all, drafting a quarterback for the sake of doing so would be franchise malpractice. It’s duly noted that the upcoming class has received rave reviews from scouts and analysts, but most of the top prospects will likely be off the board by the time Indianapolis is slated to pick at No. 21.
Who’s to say he shouldn’t use that pick on a safety or a cornerback? As he implied multiple times during his presser, Ballard is fully aware that the Colts are a franchise QB away from becoming a championship contender. He has to get this right and, given the lack of intriguing options set to hit free agency, orchestrating a trade might be his best option.
If that doesn’t work out, the fourth-year GM would probably be better off re-signing Philip Rivers, assuming he doesn’t retire and decides to run it back for another season.
Let’s also not forget that he spent a fourth-round pick on Jacob Eason last year. In a perfect world, he would serve as the backup for whomever they bring in to be the starter. Drafting a quarterback in back-to-back years is an extreme rarity, especially when there are question marks surrounding the player you would (in this case) use a first-rounder on.
Given his impeccable drafting track record, it might be time for the fan base to let their concerns fall by the wayside and trust Ballard to do what he does best: identify talent and select the best player available who will hopefully fill a position of need.