INDIANAPOLIS — With mere days before the start of the NFL Draft, Chris Ballard says his scouts and personnel department remain rather busy.
“We are grinding away,” said the Indianapolis Colts’ general manager. “It’s a little unusual – not the same amount of information, but all 31 other teams are dealing with the same circumstances we’re dealing with.”
What remains the same even through that change though is how the final board is set. Let’s call that final phase — robust discussion.
“It’s not about who’s right; it’s about getting it right,” Ballard explained. “We all have our (questionable word) moments in there. I have a bunch of them. We challenge, we watch the tape, and we battle it out until we come to a conclusion that a player fits not only what our coaches want to do, but the culture that we have built here.”
And at the end of the day, when the draft arrives, that debate is done.
“We all have an understanding,” Ballard continued, “when we come to a conclusion that this is the player and this is where we have him ranked, we’re all on board. That’s important.”
Perhaps the most important task facing Ballard and the Colts in this draft, or in this offseason in general, is replacing left tackle Anthony Castonzo. That’s what many national draft analysts think, and though Ballard didn’t say as much exactly, he sure wouldn’t deny how important Castonzo was to the franchise.
“Everything we wanted to stand for, Anthony did,” said Ballard. “And he was good. I thought he was a top-five left tackle in the league.
“We will create competition at left tackle, and we will get the best five players on the field.”
At least four of those five are already on the roster today. It’s likely by this time next week, the group will be made full.