Colts: 3 mistakes Chris Ballard made in the 2021 NFL Draft

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) /
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Enthusiasm for the Indianapolis Colts draft has gone down the tubes after Day 1. Chris Ballard made one of the finer picks of the first round by taking Michigan pass rusher Kwity Paye at No. 21, but he has made several very controversial moves since then.

Day 3 has been iffy, even with the intriguing selection of SMU tight end Kylen Granson standing out, but Day 2 is really what will drive fans crazy. Ballard took another pass rusher in Vanderbilt star Dayo Odeyingbo, who has all the talent in the world but is coming off of a major Achilles injury.

Ballard has not only built the Colts into a contender, but he’s done so through the draft, so fans have found it easy to trust his plan. However, this wasn’t the best exhibition of Ballard’s talent, as it felt like this draft was filled with unforced errors. Though many said the same about his selection of Darius Leonard, this doesn’t really compare.

If Ballard had avoided these three huge mistakes during the draft, he might’ve ended up with a much more favorable grade.

These 3 Chris Ballard mistakes could haunt the Colts.

Samuel Cosmi, Colts mock draft
Samuel Cosmi #52 of the Texas Longhorns (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

3. Not trading up in the second round

The Colts, despite whatever they might say, still need an offensive tackle. Sam Tevi was so bad for the Chargers last season that they did anything and everything they could to draft a potential game-changer like Rashawn Slater to protect Justin Herbert. The Colts watched all of their potential Anthony Castonzo replacements fly off the board.

They lost out on players like Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins, Texas’ Samuel Cosmi, and North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz, just to name a few, in the picks between No. 21 and No. 54. With no third-round pick due to the Wentz trade, Indianapolis couldn’t add to the offensive line.

The Colts could’ve gotten a terrific tackle.

The Colts will have to either move a stud lineman like Braden Smith or Quenton Nelson to left tackle or buy a ticket for the Tevi rollercoaster after this miss in the second round. Standing pat and watching all of these guys get taken right before them, and letting some go inside the division to boot, is a rough pill for Ballard to swallow.

The Colts had the cap space to sign one of the bigger free agents or acquire one via trade, but they weren’t interested in upgrading one of the most important positions in football. They might be in for a very rude awakening when the season comes along if Tevi continues to struggle at left tackle.