Chris Ballard explains what it would actually take for Colts to trade up to No. 1

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

Chris Ballard explains what needs to happen for the Indianapolis Colts to actually trade with the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Several mock drafts have already predicted that the Indianapolis Colts will trade up for the No. 1 pick. Colts fans are already preparing to celebrate Indianapolis drafting a quarterback with the first-overall pick. However, on Wednesday, Indy’s general manager, Chris Ballard, told everyone to pump their brakes. During Ballard’s press conference at the combine, he reminded everyone that the Colts currently have the No. 4 pick in the draft and that there’s no guarantee that Indy trades up to No. 1.

Ballard also previously said that it’s no guarantee Indy selects a quarterback in the first-round of this draft, so maybe he’s just sending out smokescreens. However, his reasoning for possibly remaining at No. 4 seemed genuine. Ballard explained that while everyone thinks the team has to move to No. 1 to ensure they’re getting the right guy, he’s not so sure that’s the case. He argued that it’s possible the Colts could sit at No. 4 and still get the right quarterback.

Chris Ballard not convinced the Colts have to trade up

Ballard makes a fair point. The draft isn’t just about getting the highest pick possible and selecting the player you want. It’s about reading the room and trying to figure what prospects other teams will take, and that helps teams determine if they need to get on the move or not. Indy may realize that the quarterback they actually want won’t be off the board at four, so there will be no need to move up.

If it works out that way, that doesn’t mean Indy settled either, or that the quarterback may not be the right quarterback. After all, Patrick Mahomes was the second quarterback taken in his draft and went 10th overall. Justin Herbert went sixth overall and was the third quarterback taken in his class, and Jalen Hurts got drafted in the second round, and was the fifth quarterback of the class. Teams just have to do a good job of reading the room.

However, Ballard isn’t opposed to trading up, it just has to be worth it. So what will it take to convince the Colts to trade with the Bears?

What needs to happen for Colts to trade with Bears for the No. 1 pick?

Chris Ballard repeatedly said that in order for Indianapolis to actually trade up it has to be a guy that’s worth it. He said that the team must have a sense of conviction, without a doubt, that the prospective quarterback is the guy for the franchise. That means if the Colts trade up to No. 1, some prospect checked every box for the organization, and there’s also a threat the other teams will be trying to select the prospect in the first three picks.

READ MORE: Teams Colts must outbid for the No. 1 pick