Chris Ballard admits the reason the Colts didn’t trade for the No. 1 pick

Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard during the NFL
Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard during the NFL / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts had a chance to trade for the No. 1 pick but didn’t. General manager Chris Ballard explained why the team decided not to.

When the Chicago Bears were still in possession of the No. 1 pick, many expected that the Indianapolis Colts would be the team that traded for it. Indy was desperate to find a quarterback, Chicago had their QB, and the Colts possessed the No. 4 pick in the 2023 Draft, so the Bears would only be moving three spots back. It made too much sense for both sides, so everyone thought it was happening.

However, it didn’t. The Carolina Panthers were the team that ultimately traded for the No. 1 pick. The Panthers sent DJ Moore, the No. 9 pick, a 2023 second-round pick, a 2024 first and a 2025 second to Chicago, and the Bears sent back the No. 1 pick. An expensive haul that likely eliminated a lot of teams; however, the cost wasn’t necessarily the reason the Colts didn’t make the trade.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Chris Ballard admitted that the reason Indy didn’t trade up to No. 1 is that the team wasn’t quite sure what they’d be getting at No. 1. Additionally, the Colts believe the draft is deep enough at quarterback that they’ll be good with who they get at No. 4.

Chris Ballard defends Colts not trading up

Ballard has a point, if you’re going to trade away that much, you have to really believe in the player you’re moving up to get. Apparently the Colts weren’t that deep in their process yet. It also seems like Ballard and co. isn't convinced that there is much of a difference between the top four quarterbacks. For Ballard and the Colts’ sake, that has to be the case.

If one of the top two quarterbacks turns out to be an elite franchise QB and the third or fourth QB that Indy ends up with isn’t an elite QB, Ballard and the Colts may forever regret their decision to not trade up, and it will largely impact the future of the franchsie.

Whether it be in the draft or trading for Lamar Jackson, Indianapolis has to end this offseason with a good quarterback, or every decision that the franchise made to pass up getting good QBs would come back to hunt them.

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