I feel compelled to make a statement now in order to be able to retract it later.
It all comes down to your own board doesn’t it, if you feel there were better players available you will be less enthused about the pick. Depends too on your thoughts on how much need shifts a value of a prospect.
However I doubt that the vast majority of of posters aren’t hoping he pans out and if he does who cares about where he was drafted. People get hung up way too much on draft position well into a players career.
Ballard strikes again! Great signing. He was quite possibly the best available FA left on the market. Very solid tackle to secure the right side of the line.
He started all 16 games for the Ravens last year. He was ranked as an average tackle( 71.6 grade by PFF) last year and average is a huge improvement over anything we've had at RT over the last ... I don't even know how many years.
Edit: now it's official:
I'm done making small sample pronouncements for this line - i was doing the exact same thing before last year - "oh, but if the line gets healthy... but Clark looked good in those 3 games to end the year, lets give them a chance"... No, I'm done with this - this is what brought us broken Luck and most hit QBs in the league year after year... And Ballard seems to have made the exact same conclusion - until they show it over a more representative sample and prove it on the field, you cannot assume your line is fixed. That's why he doesn't seem to spare resources this off-season to fix the line.
Look at it this way - the very least you achieve (if you truly believe Haeg or Good are the long term solutions at the position) is to force them to earn it against a player that has been a solid pro for the last 8 years or so... I have absolutely nothing against Haeg or Good winning the spot as long as they truly win it against an average NFL tackle. If they do that it will mean that they are better than average and this would be even better than having a stop gap in Howard for one year and still being in the search for long-term solution after this year.
He's solid, he's not great but not bad either. He ranked average last year by pff (71.6 grade, no 36 tackle in the league) and has been ranking about that level throughout his career. He has 88 starts in the league. Here are some of his grades through the years:
2014: 53.1 (as a guard)
2016: 66.9 (while battling shoulder injury)
He's been firmly average-ish throughout his career. Something we cannot say about any of the other right tackles on the roster. This is why people are excited - not because we are getting a pro-bowler, but because we are getting a huge improvement over what we already have. Average is good for this line and it's not like we are tying ourselves to him for the long term. It's a 1 year deal.
Lastly, this thread is a great example of why people ultimately get off of forums
1) Everyone is allowed to have an opinion
2) Everyone here is probably NOT a paid scout......... we read something, we watch something,
and all of a sudden, that opinion is RIGHT
No one here knows it all...... I had MOST of the mock draft incorrect..... I will be the first to admit that
I am not an expert
3) If someone has a different opinion than yours... cut them some slack....... lock step is boring....
being a fellow Colts fan should be the starting point.
I personally think Leonard is a better prospect than Vander Esch. I had Leonard as my 4th best off ball linebacker, for a while. I think at one time I even had Leonard as my third best LB. The top 3-5 LBs were razor thin close.
The top 2; Obviously the big dog was a top 10 pick, and the freak was going top 20.
The the only reason Leonard went after Evans is because of the quality of competition. I would personally choose Leonard over Evans for our defense.
I'm just imagining Hooker, Leonard, Wilson, Nelson, Hines, Basham, Mack, Wilkins, Smith, maybe Fountain or Cain and more all playing and some starting in our first game. A whole lot of young talent growing together.
Cubs are now only 1 game out of 1st. This has been a great week so far. Brewers lost today as well, Pirates won. NL Central Standings are this after today:
There's almost nothing going on currently in practice that would give Ballard info to do anything.
Odds are this decision was made more than a month ago when we had Howard in for a meeting... we likely told him that we'd have a contract waiting for him on May 9 if he hadn't reached agreement with another team before then. And now that the magic date arrived, we offered and he accepted.
Otherwise, I wouldn't read too much more into this signing...
I don't think there's any doubt that the OL talent has been upgraded pretty significantly. Couple that with the new offense that will likely use a short, quick release passing attack and the new blocking schemes, and we should see a BIG improvement in pass protection and in keeping Luck upright.