You are correct, of course, I have no clue about his board. I only know what was said before and after the draft, and what he did during the draft.
Before the draft (talking to Peter King, and this is not the only time he said things like this):
"We’ll make sure we’re taking the best player in the round. Now there’s always core positions that you’re going to look for, pass rushers, tackles, corners, those are always going to be front-line positions and they’re going to go fast...But we’ll always be looking for those core positions and we’ll always, always be looking for the best player.”
During the draft: Ballard drafts guards with 2 of his top three picks, and picks OL/ DL with 4 of his 5 first picks, taking 0 tackles or corners.
After the draft this is what Ballard and his staff have to say:
- Chris Ballard: "“Now I’m going to tell you all, I have dreamt about this, being able to be in charge of a draft and draft o-line [and] d-line. I mean, it’s what I believe."
- Morocco Brown: "We were thinking about the fronts, and when we squeezed the blood out of the turnip, let’s go and pick the best guy available at each round." "We really wanted to upgrade both sides of the ball on the front. Because in the NFL, if you can’t block the opposing team, you’re in trouble. That was the emphasis we harped on...."
- Frank Reich: "Chris and I share the same philosophy that it starts up front... the reason there was a championship in Philadelphia last year was because of the fronts on both sides of the ball."
That doesn't sound like people trying to convince us they just followed their board and took BPA. Leonard seems likely BPA, but when talking about Smith and Turay, Ballard didn't mention his board, he mentioned how they wouldn't have lasted much longer. He was fixing his lines.
Thank you NCF, really appreciate you stepping in and putting out your perspective!!!
Absolutely CB gave a head fake. Personally, I'm thrilled (see my sig). I am not calling Ballard dishonest, I think he's smart, actually surprisingly up front in general, right or wrong, he at least has a well-considered philosophical approach to drafting and free agency. A refreshing change from Grigson and Chris Polian.