Chris Ballard Shares Thoughts On Drafting A Quarterback

Chris Ballard Shares Thoughts On Drafting A Quarterback

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Chris Ballard Shares Thoughts On Drafting A Quarterback

How does Chris Ballard handle the approach of the Colts drafting a quarterback. What are Ballard’s thoughts on taking a QB?

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INDIANAPOLIS – If Chris Ballard does indeed draft a quarterback in April, it will be rather foreign territory for the recent history of the Colts, and for the personnel man himself.

 

The Colts haven’t drafted a quarterback since 2012 (when they took Andrew Luck No. 1 overall…and Chandler Harnish No. 253 overall). Since 2012, every other team in the NFL has drafted at least one quarterback.

 

And when it comes to Ballard, he hasn’t been part of any recent draft where a quarterback was taken with a premium selection.

 

Since being elevated from an area scout with the Bears in 2012, Ballard has been part of 8 drafts (1-Chicago, 4-Kansas City, 3-Indianapolis). Those drafts have resulted in just 2 quarterbacks being selected by the teams Ballard has been with, and both QB picks occurred in the 5th around (Kevin Hogan-2016, Aaron Murray-2014).

 

At his season-ending press conference earlier this month, Ballard gave the company line about ‘anytime we have a chance to acquire a player that makes us better, at any position, we are going to do it,’ but he also shared some specific thoughts on drafting a quarterback.

 

I think one of the biggest mistakes teams make is they force (the drafting of a quarterback),” Ballard said. “You can’t force the evaluation of a quarterback, can’t do it. Because then what you do is talk yourself into a guy, and then you set your organization back 4-5 years.

 

“We’re going to continue to evaluate the position. We would’ve done this no matter who the quarterback was. And if we felt like we found the guy we liked (in the past), who was a good fit for the Colts, we would've taken him. And we’ll do the same thing moving forward.”

 

Even though the Colts have stayed away from picking a quarterback (in any round) in seven straight drafts, Ballard is adamant that under his watch, they’ve done extensive homework into the QB prospects.

 

“Every year we focus on them,” the GM says of analyzing draftable quarterbacks. “We’ve studied them every year since I’ve been here. I learned this in Kansas City, we always go through the process of studying quarterbacks. No. 1: Because you never know when you’re going to be looking one in the face, so you just take him. No. 2: Because you got to play against them. So, you want to be able to interview them, study them and at least know some history and background when they enter the league.

 

“So, I don’t know if the process will be any different than it has for us.”

 

When it comes down to evaluating quarterbacks, and all the responsibility that comes with that position, there is one trait that stands out extra to Ballard.

 

The character of that position, I think we all know, is paramount,” Ballard said. “Those are things we won’t bend on. There are certain things within the quarterback position that we will not bend on. They got to be smart, they got to be great teammates. I’m not saying they have to be rah-rah leader guys, but they have to be a leader in some way, whether it’s their presence, their actions, in some way they got to lead…You’re never going to get a finished product, and if they are, they’re the No 1 pick in the draft. We’ve got to be able to look for the attributes that we want, and figure out what we can make better. What we can improve the kid upon.

 

“There’s (quarterbacks) we like (in 2020). We’ll go through it. Timing, they got to be available when you’re picking, all that stuff’s got to play into it.”

 

Will 2020 finally see the Colts return to drafting a quarterback?

 

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