With the NFL Draft approaching, PFF took a look back at how the Indianapolis Colts and other teams conduct draft-day trades.
For months leading up to the NFL Draft, there are a ton of mock drafts. Many experts take the current draft order and slot prospects into different spots.
Once Draft weekend arrives, the order that everyone has got used to gets moved all around. Teams decide they either want to trade up or back and it just becomes a chaotic weekend of exchanging picks.
Amidst all the chaos is actual draft value that is being exchanged. Teams try to keep track of that when making trades but it’s hard to do in the heat of the moment.
Fortunately, some experts can look back at all the draft-day trades to see what teams and general managers typically come away with the most value.
Conor McQuiston at PFF took time to figure this out using the Fitzergald-Spielberger chart to determine value from the 2017 to 2021 drafts.
What the results found is that Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts are one of the best teams when it comes to draft-day trades. Ballard and Indianapolis ranked as the third-best team, behind the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers.
Colts ranked third-best in draft-day trades
Chris Ballard has only been general manager since 2017, so this looks over his entire tenure in Indianapolis. As PFF highlights, Ballard and the Colts have made 11 draft-day trades that panned out to the third-best value of all other current general managers.
PFF says Ballard’s most valuable trade down was in 2018 when the Colts sent the No. 3 overall pick to the New York Jets for the No. 6 pick, two second-round picks in 2018, and a 2019 second-rounder.
The Jets used that pick to select Sam Darnold, who is now no longer with the team.
The move that had the worst value for Indy was when they traded up in 2019 to select Khari Willis. The Colts sent the 129th- and 135th-overall picks to the Raiders to move up to 109th-overall.
Willis is a starter and impact player on Indy’s current defense so it ultimately was a good move. This being Ballard’s worst draft-day trade shows why he ranks so high in the category.
Going into the 2022 Draft, if the Colts are making any moves, it will probably be trading up. Indy doesn’t have a first-round pick so it’s unlikely that they will move back with their first selection not until the second round.
With five day-three picks, Indianapolis is more likely to move around on the final day of the draft to make selections in the late rounds. Hopefully, history can repeat itself and the Colts receive the better value in any moves made.