Well first of all, not all Jones' pro-bowlers were pro-bowlers as rookies. For example, Michael Irvin and Troy Aikman were drafted in '88 and '89, respectively. They didn't make a probowl until 1991. Arguably, because Emmit Smith (who made the probowl as a rookie in 1990) was added to form the original 'trio' (followed later by our Colts, who didn't see Marvin or Peyton become pro-bowlers until 1999 when Edge was drafted).
Big Q and The Maniac were the first rookie duo to make first team all-pro on the same team (and 2nd time in NFL history) since 1965 when Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers did it. Several players drafted by Ballard have potential to be pro-bowlers. I won't be shocked to see Braden Smith, Marlon Mack, Malik Hooker, Rock Ya-Sin, Kemoko Turay, Ben Banogu, Bobby Okereke, Anthony Walker, Khari Willis, Nyheim Hines (return man) make at least one pro-bowl before their careers are over (I doubt all of them will, but I'm sure at least one of those guys will, probably more).
I don't have the time to do it, but I would bet that very few GMs have every single player from the past 3 drafts still in the NFL. TBH, I wouldn't be shocked if Ballard is the only GM in the league who can say that.
Of picks who didn't make it as Colts since Ballard started:
Basham is doing fine for the Jets as a rotational DL,
Zach Banner started 1 game in Pittsburgh and was depth for them last year,
Nate Hairston had a decent year with NYJ last year.
Deon Cain is the only one not still with the Colts (out of 11 picks, that's ridiculous), and he started 3 games for Pittsburgh last year coming off a bad injury as a rookie (he also started 3 with us before we put him to PS and he got claimed by Pitt)
Javon Patterson went on IR but is still with us.
Jackson Barton didn't make our team, but has a SB ring and is still with KC.
Gerri Green is the only other guy who was only a practice squad guy out of the 10 picks in that draft.
It seems like you'd be happy if the Colts only drafted Notre Dame players every year. So nothing I say here will probably make sense to you.
Kmet was a productive college TE, for sure. He like @WarGhost21 already said is not a very good blocker. With his size, that's alarming. It seems like his poor blocking is due to a lack of instincts there, which are hard to teach. Not totally unteachable, but lack of instinct is not a good trait to have in the NFL. He also ran a 4.7 forty, which is decent for a TE in the NFL (good for a college TE). There are 4 other TEs faster than him in this draft. My take on Kmet is that he's already playing right around his ceiling and won't really improve too much in the NFL in terms of blocking. He gets jammed up at the line if a body is put on him and doesn't have the speed to recover if that happens.
I will trust the scouts, coaches and Ballard to make the right decisions in the draft (Ballard has a pretty good track record). I won't be terribly upset if we took Kmet at 34, but depending how the board plays out in the first round, I imagine there will be players with more value than Kmet at that spot.
I don't think this TE class is as bad as others are saying, as I think several TEs from this class will be productive NFL players (Brycen Hopkins, Albert Okwuegbunam, Thad Moss, Harrison Bryant being a few of them). I don't see any Gronks or Tony Gonzalezes in this draft, though. If I had to bet, I think Harrison Bryan and Albert Okwuegbunam (and maybe Thad Moss) have the highest ceilings and they are all players who seem like they can grow more with NFL coaching than Kmet, IMO.
In terms of top WR that may be available around when we pick, Ballard has been saying for a while now that this class is loaded with WR talent. It'll be interesting to see what happens, as a lot of teams picking in Rd. 1 have a lot higher priorities than WR. I think the odds of a QB run in the first vs. a lack of QB run are almost 50/50.
The guys I see at WR who are going to be very good right out of the gates are CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Riggs III, Higgins. More likely than not, those guys will be gone way before 34 comes around.
Guys who I think are most likely to be very good out the gate are Claypool, J. Jefferson, Jalen Reagor, Mims, and Brandon Aiyuk. There is a very good chance more than 1 of them are available at 34. I'd prefer us getting a big body which would eliminate both Aiyuk (5'11), Reagor (5'11). It seems as though Mims' stock is rising as fast as any player in the entire draft, so I doubt he's around when we pick.
Other big frame guys who I think could be good early (but better with a year or two of coaching and NFL experience) are Gabriel Davis (6'2" 216 lbs, 4.54 forty, 72 receptions, 1,241 yards, 12 TDs last year), Laviska Shenault Jr (6'1" 227 lbs, 4.58 forty, 52 receptions, 721 yards, 4 TDs last year), Tyler Johnson (6'2" 200 lbs, 4.54 forty, 86 catches, 1,318 yards, 13 TDs last year), Collin Johnson (6'5" 221 lbs, 4.55 forty, 38-559-3 last year), Michael Pittman Jr. (6'3" 219 lbs, 4.52 forty, 101-1,275-11 last year), Antonio Gandy-Golden (6'3" 222 lbs, 4.6 forty, 79-1,396-10 last year), Bryan Edwards (6'3" 212, 4.58 forty, 71-816-6 last year), Kalija Lipscomb (6'1" 202 lbs, 4.57 forty, 43-468-2 last year), Van Jefferson (6'1" 200 lbs, 4.55 forty, 49-657-6 last year), Stephen Guidry (6'4" 190 lbs, 4.47, 24-311-4 last year on a bad Miss St. passing offense), John Hightower (6'1" 189 lbs, 4.43 forty, 51-943-8 last year), Donovan Peoples-Jones (6'2" 212, 4.48 forty, 34-438-6 last year and better the year before). A few others, but I'll stop there. All of these guys should be available at 34 (and many in the 3rd/4th/5th rounds).
One smaller guy to look out for KJ Hamler from PSU. 5'9" 178, 4.4 forty, 56-904-8 last year. He reminds me of a hybrid between TY Hilton, DeSean Jackson and Hollywood Brown. He is very good after the catch and if we're looking for a future TY replacement, he seems like the one WR in this draft that could be his clone. He's projected at rounds 2-4.
To be honest, if Ballard really wants to boost our WRs, if one of the studs in the first 2 lists doesn't drop to us, I wouldn't be a bit shocked to see him trade 34 back for additional picks allowing us to get 2-3 WRs from the last two groups. I'd be thrilled to see us get KJ Hamler (TY clone) and a bigger guy like Gabriel Davis or Tyler Johnson in the late second or 3rd, and use our 44th on a TE, OL, CB, or DE.
I personally prefer Mims at pick 34. But still researching.
Here are a couple of videos of Mims and Claypool 1 on 1 drills at the Senior bowl. Looks like Claypool has greater size and strength to push the DB around, while Mims has greater sudden mobility and separation to go long.
I think you misunderstood me, as I clearly stated I read a prediction no TE would be taken by B/R. I also stated on not a fan of B/R, but I do agree with them that the TE class is weak.
I don’t think Kmet is close the talent as some think. JMO and won’t bicker about it.