Colts GM on buying and selling as much as No. 1 choose: ‘There’s received to be a man worthy of it’

Colts basic supervisor Chris Ballard on Wednesday appeared to mood hypothesis that Indianapolis will try to commerce as much as the No. 1 general choose within the 2023 NFL Draft. 

At the annual NFL Scouting Combine, Ballard mentioned he does not know if it is “the right course of business” to commerce as much as the highest choose to get the choose proper. To make an aggressive transfer like that, he mentioned, a participant needs to be “worthy of it.” A conviction have to be current amongst high determination makers that there is “no freaking doubt” he is the one to be the face of a franchise for a decade-plus, he added. 

The Colts, who maintain the No. 4 choose, have been one of many groups most linked to the Bears, who maintain the highest general choice, to seize a quarterback. It would enable Indianapolis to leap a spot forward of the AFC South rival Texans. 

Chicago is reportedly open to buying and selling the No. 1 choose. 

“Everybody has just automatically stamped that you gotta move up to [No.] 1 to get it right,” Ballard mentioned. “I don’t know if I agree with that. I don’t. But that’s going to be the narrative. And that’s OK. You have to write something. You have to keep the news flowing. 

“When we meet as a employees and we are saying, ‘OK, that is what we have to do, that is the man for the following 10-15 years and we predict he is the fitting man,’ positive, we’ll do it,” he continued. “But who’s to say we cannot get one at 4?” 

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In the past, Ballard has been stringent about physical measurables at the quarterback position, like size. In his six seasons as general manager, the Colts’ primary signal-caller each year has been at least 6-foot-4 — Andrew Luck (6-4, 240 lbs), Jacoby Brissett (6-4, 235), Phillip Rivers (6-5, 228), Carson Wentz (6-5, 237) and Matt Ryan (6-4, 217). And while those measurables are still held in high regard, Ballard said there’s an “exception” for guys who might not be as big but have elite accuracy and make plays when the game is on the line. Signal callers these days, he explained, come in all different shapes and sizes. 

The prospects in this year’s draft class are across the board: Alabama’s Bryce Young (listed at 6-0 and 194 lbs by his school), Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud (6-3, 218) Florida’s Anthony Richardson (6-4, 232) and Kentucky’s Will Levis (6-3, 232). 

Top QB in the draft?

Top QB in the draft?

RJ Young and Rob Rang agree that Alabama’s Bryce Young is healthier than Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

“We’ve had guys that have been under six foot be successful,” Ballard mentioned of the NFL. “Some guys can be too tall, and now we’re going to say they’re too short. I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder — who you believe in, who you believe you can build an offense around. And I do know this: you don’t fit the offense to the quarterback. You fit the offense to what the quarterback does well. I think that’s what [new coach Shane Steichen] and the staff will do.

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“You’re getting much more athletes enjoying the place,” he added. “The skill to maneuver, navigate the pocket, escape from the pocket, make performs along with your toes. All these are issues that we’re seeing in our league. Not that we’ve not seen it earlier than, nevertheless it’s turn out to be much more prevalent.”

Steichen agreed with Ballard’s sentiment about accuracy as a premium. 

“When it is third-and-8 and you have to have it, you could have to have the ability to stand within the pocket and ship a strike with the man coming down your chest,” he said. “I believe that claims lots a few man’s toughness. I search for that on tape. Obviously the vetting technique of it.” 

What’s also clear from Steichen’s comments? The ex-Eagles offensive coordinator values perfectionism and the ‘it’ factor in the position.

He pointed to his former signal-caller, the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, the 2022 MVP runner-up to Patrick Mahomes, as an example. 

“A variety of these guys are going to be proficient,” Steichen said. “They’re going to have the ability to throw it. They’re going to have the ability to run. They’re going to have the ability to make performs. But what’s that edge? What’s that edge that separates them?”

“Part of it, I believe it is the obsession,” he continued. “You’ve received to adore it. You’ve received to be obsessive about it. You’ve received to be the primary one and final one to go away. These guys in Philly know. I imply, Jalen was in there at freaking 6 o’clock [in the morning]. He’d be in there till 9:30 [p.m.]. That’s what it seems to be like. You wish to play on this league a very long time and achieve success, you have to have that mindset each single day that I’m going to offer it the whole lot I’ve received and be the very best I can.” 

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Ben Arthur is the AFC South reporter for FOX Sports. He previously worked for The Tennessean/USA TODAY Network, where he was the Titans beat writer for a year and a half. He covered the Seattle Seahawks for for three seasons (2018-20) prior to moving to Tennessee. You can follow Ben on Twitter at @benyarthur.

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