Chris Ballard, general manager for the Indianapolis Colts, explains how one of his biggest mistakes led to Indy drafting Bernhard Raimann.
Chris Ballard has been receiving a lot of praise for his time as general manager with the Indianapolis Colts. This offseason, especially, Ballard has been applauded for his work to improve the team.
However, behind every story of success are some moments of failure, and Chris Ballard is no different. Ballard has been involved in NFL front offices since 2001, so things definitely haven’t been all good for him.
Recently, Ballard highlighted one of those low moments by detailing what he referred to as “one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done in my career.”
In an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show”, Ballard discussed the time when he was working as the southwest area scout for the Chicago Bears.
Ballard talked about scouting offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer at the University of Houston, and how he initially gave Vollmer a really low grade.
However, when he arrived at Vollmer’s workout, the New England Patriots offensive line coach at the time, Dante Scarnecchia, was working Vollmer out, and Sebastian blew everyone away.
Ballard immediately knew that he had missed and Vollmer ultimately went on to play seven good years for the Patriots as a tackle. However, Ballard brought up this story because this experience led to the Colts’ interest in Bernhard Raimann.
Ballard said that like Vollmer, Raimann “is a big, strong, athletic man” and he wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. Ultimately, the Colts were able to select Raimann in the third round of the 2022 Draft.
Chris Ballard wasn’t going to miss on Bernhard Raimann
Similar to Vollmer, Bernhard Raimann isn’t from America and he didn’t start playing American football until he was 14 years old, the same age that Vollmer started.
Raimann is from Austria and had an unconventional path to becoming the 77th-overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, he’s now in Indianapolis and is hoping to be the left tackle of the future.
A position that is still relatively new to Raimann, after converting from tight end in 2020. Luckily, Raimann took naturally to left tackle and developed quickly.
Now, he will be competing for the starting job with Matt Pryor when the Colts start training camp. Thanks to Ballard learning from his past mistakes, Indy may have found their franchise left tackle.