If any other NFL team receives intel that the Indianapolis Colts are after someone in the draft, we’d recommend they try to leapfrog them.
After all, the price paid in trade will sting less than the years-long effect of watching the best-drafting team in the league grab another hidden gem.
This season, expect more of the same from Chris Ballard, the league’s best draft sniper.
With a roster on the precipice of Super Bowl-level success, history shows he’ll be zeroed in on maximizing his end-of-the-first selection and late-round picks, entering the most critical year yet of his long-term vision.
This week, we were gifted with a chart meant to display, for all you visual learners, the most consistent drafters in the NFL over the past four years, grouped by percentile outcome for the players chosen — in other words, fulfilled potential.
Ballard’s Colts outranked the No. 2 team (the New Orleans Saints) by a clear margin.
Perhaps more importantly for Indy fans, this chart also gave us a handy opportunity to laugh at Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, who were given Tom Brady’s golden years and provided him with…next to nothing.
The Indianapolis Colts have been the best drafters in the NFL. For a while.
Sure, drafting is only a part of building a machine.
But Chris Ballard knows that, in order to spend properly in free agency and supplement the roster, you have to begin with a viable group locked down on rookie contracts. Nothing’s sneaking up on him. He knows how the sausage is made in the NFL.
And time and again, no matter what draft capital he’s given to work with, he makes do (and makes the rest of the league jealous).
The always-hilarious part? The 2017 draft wasn’t even that great! The Colts had to shrug off a dud at the very start of this list, anchored down by selections like Zach Banner and Malik Hooker.
They certainly vaulted ahead of the competition in 2018, however, when Ballard authored an historic draft for the record books, putting the foundation in place for what seems likely to be a run on the AFC South.
Add in Kemoko Turay and Nyheim Hines, and you just may have something here. You could be going places.
This time around, with a long-term quarterback in place, Ballard will once again be looking to paper over defensive deficiencies and enforce strengths in the draft. He’ll be eyeing secondary help early, or perhaps offensive line reinforcements in Anthony Castonzo’s place.
But whether the additions come early or come late, you can be sure they’ll come correct. Ballard has earned our trust by now. Just check the chart.