Chris Ballard catches shade for Ngakoue trade after Colts drafted two defensive linemen

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) /

The Indianapolis Colts traded for Yannick Ngakoue but the trade brings past moves by general manager Chris Ballard into question.

On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts made a trade to bring pass-rusher, Yannick Ngakoue to Indy. The move cost Indianapolis cornerback Rock Ya-Sin.

While the trade will solve a problem the Colts have struggled to address the last few seasons, some have pointed out how this highlights the flaws in previous moves by the team.

Specifically, Indy using its first two draft picks in last year’s draft on edge-rushers and then still having to trade away a promising young player for an edge-rusher a season later.

Colts finally make a big move for a pass rusher

Ballard and Indianapolis have been trying to answer the pass-rushing problem through the draft for a few years now. In the 2021 Draft, Indy selected Kwity Paye in the first round and Dayo Odeyingbo in the second.

Paye proved to be a good selection during his first year and made the PFWA All-Rookie Team. He will likely start opposite of Ngakoue next season.

The jury is still out on Odeyingbo after he missed seven games last season recovering from an Achilles injury. Odeyingbo did make a few plays in his 10 appearances that showed promise.

Ultimately, Ballard and the Colts finally admitted that they can no longer wait on the development of young pass-rushers and had to sacrifice Rock Ya-Sin to make a move now.

This sheds light on an issue that many have pointed out about Ballard’s offseason approach. Oftentimes, Indianapolis chooses the path of a cheaper or less-sure option and eventually ends up paying for it down the line.

That’s what happened with the quarterback position last offseason and that’s why the Colts are back on the market. Indy also had a chance to sign Ngakoue when he was a free agent last offseason but was unable to.

Indianapolis ultimately got an elite pass-rusher, but it did cost the team a promising young defender. The Colts can hope that Paye and Odeyingbo continue to develop and then it will just look like Ballard made a serious commitment to edge-rushing that paid off.