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CaptainColt12

Could Chris Ballard Have a Legacy Close to Bill Polian

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     I know it's stretch and way to early to have these two in the same sentence. But  I can't help but look into the future of this team and how good Chris Ballard could be. And I know Frank Reich will tell you to just look at the next game.

 

I mean hopefully we don't have a Seahawks situation with John Schneider, where we have 2-3 amazing drafts and start to plummet. I do feel though that Ballard's patience and knowledge of the game shows a lot about him being a good GM for a long time, even past the colts. 

 

    I think Chris Ballard could be considered a top 15 GM in NFL history , but of course like I said, he could just start trashing up his drafts. Though I feel the logical answer is that he is considered one of the top GM's every year for 10 years. 

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I doubt any GM in the history of the NFL has hit on more draft picks in their first 2 drafts as Ballard has. So at this point there is no doubt, and if he continues to draft like he has then Ballard will be the one everyone else will be compared to. 

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Ive bashed polian as much as the next guy, but the guy has or potentially drafted 9 HOFers

 

Jim Kelly

Bruce Smith

Thurman Thomas

Andre Reed

Peyton Manning

Edge 

Reggie

Freeney 

Mathis

 

He did not draft Marv or Marshall Faulk. That was Bill Tobin.

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5 minutes ago, CR91 said:

Ive bashed polian as much as the next guy, but the guy has or potentially drafted 9 HOFers

 

Jim Kelly

Bruce Smith

Thurman Thomas

Andre Reed

Peyton Manning

Edge 

Reggie

Freeney 

Mathis

 

He did not draft Marv or Marshall Faulk. That was Bill Tobin.

Obviously too early.   But of Ballards picks, Leonard and Nelson seem like the best odds of being HOFrs at this point.  

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1 minute ago, Myles said:

Obviously too early.   But of Ballards picks, Leonard and Nelson seem like the best odds of being HOFrs at this point.  

 

True, but that is a long way to go

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Also just a note about Polian's drafts. BB is considered the best when it comes to the draft and yet hes drafted two HOFers. Brady and Gronk. Thats sad especially with how many picks the pats have every year.

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Schneider got SEA to two Super Bowls and should have won both of them. If Ballard can do that...I will gladly take that and then take my chances with what comes after. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, CR91 said:

Also just a note about Polian's drafts. BB is considered the best when it comes to the draft and yet hes drafted two HOFers. Brady and Gronk. Thats sad especially with how many picks the pats have every year.

 

Big difference is that BB drafts and signs players who fit his system really well, but they aren't necessarily excellent players, especially when it comes to individual numbers. Julian Edelman, for instance. He also gets rid of players before they're totally spent, and then they go somewhere else, with mixed results. Chandler Jones might wind up being a fringe HOF candidate.

 

Polian drafted a lot of excellent individual players who put up big stats, and Polian's teams tended to keep those players for most of their career.

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Polian was the architect for those Bills teams that lost 4 straight Superbowls.

 

He then went to the Panthers as an expansion team and had them in the NFC Championship in their 2nd year.

 

Then most of you know the Colts history - he was responsible for Manning over Leaf and Edge over Ricky Williams. My only knock on Polian in the Colts was he didn't draft defense like he did with the Bills.

 

Those are HUGE SHOES to fill by Ballard and he is NOT even close to replicating any of those 3 achievements yet.....if, and I mean IF he continues his good drafting then he may end up equalling or besting two of those accomplishments.

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Polian was the chief exec for 23 seasons, his teams made eight conference championship game and five SBs (nin and six if you give him credit for the '93 Bills, which we probably should). His teams had a 62% win percentage, and they rarely had the luxury of picking in the top ten in the draft; when he did pick top ten, he nailed the pick every time.

 

I'm pointing out that Polian has one of the best resumes of any personnel man in NFL history, and earned his reputation with three separate teams, spanning over two decades. Chris Ballard -- and anyone else, for the matter -- has a long way to go before he can even approach Polian's status as a GM.

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59 minutes ago, CaptainColt12 said:

     I know it's stretch and way to early to have these two in the same sentence. But  I can't help but look into the future of this team and how good Chris Ballard could be. And I know Frank Reich will tell you to just look at the next game.

 

I mean hopefully we don't have a Seahawks situation with John Schneider, where we have 2-3 amazing drafts and start to plummet. I do feel though that Ballard's patience and knowledge of the game shows a lot about him being a good GM for a long time, even past the colts. 

 

    I think Chris Ballard could be considered a top 15 GM in NFL history , but of course like I said, he could just start trashing up his drafts. Though I feel the logical answer is that he is considered one of the top GM's every year for 10 years. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

Big difference is that BB drafts and signs players who fit his system really well, but they aren't necessarily excellent players, especially when it comes to individual numbers. Julian Edelman, for instance. He also gets rid of players before they're totally spent, and then they go somewhere else, with mixed results. Chandler Jones might wind up being a fringe HOF candidate.

 

Polian drafted a lot of excellent individual players who put up big stats, and Polian's teams tended to keep those players for most of their career.

 

I get that, but the fact still reminds. The patriots have had a ridiculous amount of draft picks over the years. You would assume they would have more then two HOFers during that span.

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28 minutes ago, Superman said:

Polian was the chief exec for 23 seasons, his teams made eight conference championship game and five SBs (nin and six if you give him credit for the '93 Bills, which we probably should). His teams had a 62% win percentage, and they rarely had the luxury of picking in the top ten in the draft; when he did pick top ten, he nailed the pick every time.

 

I'm pointing out that Polian has one of the best resumes of any personnel man in NFL history, and earned his reputation with three separate teams, spanning over two decades. Chris Ballard -- and anyone else, for the matter -- has a long way to go before he can even approach Polian's status as a GM.

     Obviously CB has a long way to go to be in that conversation, but it's been since 1965 since a GM has had two all pro rookies. And both of those players(Gale Sayers and Dick Butkis) are considered one of the best players at their position. If ballard can do the same thing and then some, he's definitely in the same conversation.

 

    Especially considering he's drafted: 

Braden Smith - most likely starting RT for 5-8 years 

Malik Hooker - One of the best deep threat Safeties in the NFL 

Marlon Mack - Could be starting RB for the net 4 years 

Anthony Walker - Very good Mike LB

Darius Lenorard - Possibly one of the best LB in the league for his entire career/ HOF 

Quenton Nelson - Possibly one of the best guards in NFL history  

    and other players who could have breakout years such as:

Deon Cain

Kemoko Turay 

Tyquan Lewis

Quincy Wilson 

    Don't forget about the great signings he's made 

Ebron, Autry, Sheard, and Hunt 

   

     So it's not a long shot to say that Ballard could have close to as good of a career as Polian. I know you were just saying it's big shoes to be filled, and I'm saying he can do it.  

 

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1 hour ago, CR91 said:

 

I get that, but the fact still reminds. The patriots have had a ridiculous amount of draft picks over the years. You would assume they would have more then two HOFers during that span.

 

I'm just saying I think the career arc of Pats players gets dramatically affected by the way the Patriots run their organization. But I also think Belichick has been overrated as a drafter over the years, so we probably agree to an extent on that.

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Could he?  Yes

Will he?  Too soon to tell.  But you knew that already.

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That would be awesome. Time will tell

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2 hours ago, CR91 said:

Also just a note about Polian's drafts. BB is considered the best when it comes to the draft and yet hes drafted two HOFers. Brady and Gronk. Thats sad especially with how many picks the pats have every year.

 

That’s....      sad?!?     Sad!?!

 

Whats sad is that you think that is sad.  I mean.....   come on!    What are you talking about? 

 

 

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Polian built THREE different franchises into Super Bowl teams.

 

Buffalo, Carolina, and the Colts.

 

The Bills went to four straight.  

 

The Panthers went in just their second year of existence. 

 

The Colts won more games in Polian time than every other team except the Patriots.

 

The chances of Ballard equaling that are incredibly small.    Doesn’t mean he can’t be great.   But that great?!   Not likely.

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2 minutes ago, dodsworth said:

Polian is sooooooo overrated it's not even funny.

 

see the post right above yours

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1 minute ago, J@son said:

 

see the post right above yours

He had Manning and Kelly all those years and ended up with one title.

His team's were paper tigers and built soft to collapse in the playoffs.

 

All of his accolades fall on deaf ears here.

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34 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Polian built THREE different franchises into Super Bowl teams.

 

Buffalo, Carolina, and the Colts.

 

The Bills went to four straight.  

 

The Panthers went in just their second year of existence. 

 

The Colts won more games in Polian time than every other team except the Patriots.

 

The chances of Ballard equaling that are incredibly small.    Doesn’t mean he can’t be great.   But that great?!   Not likely.

Not too mention a possible 4 offensive players who will have or are close to having Gold Jackets. and to go along with that is 2 defensive players in Freeny and Mathis who will both get gold Jackets.  I think Bob Sanders would have been in that conversation had he remained healthy.  I don't think he was overated. 

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46 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

 

That’s....      sad?!?     Sad!?!

 

Whats sad is that you think that is sad.  I mean.....   come on!    What are you talking about? 

 

 

 

I was comparing that to Polian's potential 9 HOFers especially woth the boat load of picks the pats habe had.

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2 hours ago, CaptainColt12 said:

     Obviously CB has a long way to go to be in that conversation, but it's been since 1965 since a GM has had two all pro rookies. And both of those players(Gale Sayers and Dick Butkis) are considered one of the best players at their position. If ballard can do the same thing and then some, he's definitely in the same conversation.

 

    Especially considering he's drafted: 

Braden Smith - most likely starting RT for 5-8 years 

Malik Hooker - One of the best deep threat Safeties in the NFL 

Marlon Mack - Could be starting RB for the net 4 years 

Anthony Walker - Very good Mike LB

Darius Lenorard - Possibly one of the best LB in the league for his entire career/ HOF 

Quenton Nelson - Possibly one of the best guards in NFL history  

    and other players who could have breakout years such as:

Deon Cain

Kemoko Turay 

Tyquan Lewis

Quincy Wilson 

    Don't forget about the great signings he's made 

Ebron, Autry, Sheard, and Hunt 

   

     So it's not a long shot to say that Ballard could have close to as good of a career as Polian. I know you were just saying it's big shoes to be filled, and I'm saying he can do it.  

 

 

I think we tend to overrate some of our young players on the basis of a few good weeks. Ballard's first draft class is entering Year 3; I don't think we really, truly know how good any of those players are. I'm optimistic about all of them, but we're projecting on all of them, and in some cases, prematurely crowning several of them.

 

Compared to Polian, where we can look back and see how many of his drafted players had long, productive NFL careers. Polian had several really good drafts over many years; Ballard might have had one, and it's still to early to really know.

 

All I'm saying is that it's a lofty comparison, and with Ballard barely being three years in, it's hard to even consider seriously. Can he reach that level? It's possible, but we're talking about one of the best NFL execs of the last 30 years, not just a guy who had a few good seasons.

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Polian couldn't have played the game for the players.  His horses were good enough to get the teams to the big show and into the playoffs.  They just didn't win enough when they got there and it wasn't necessarily always because of having lesser players.

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45 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Polian built THREE different franchises into Super Bowl teams.

 

Buffalo, Carolina, and the Colts.

 

The Bills went to four straight.  

 

The Panthers went in just their second year of existence. 

 

The Colts won more games in Polian time than every other team except the Patriots.

 

The chances of Ballard equaling that are incredibly small.    Doesn’t mean he can’t be great.   But that great?!   Not likely.

 

I always want to give Polian credit for that Panthers SB team, but we can't. He left Carolina in '97, they didn't go to the SB until 2003 (same year the Colts lost to the Pats in the AFCCG, when Polian complained about the defensive holding, which led to the tightened rules in 2004).

 

What we're thinking of is the '99 team that went to the NFCCG in '96, and lost to the Packers. 

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4 minutes ago, krunk said:

Polian couldn't have played the game for the players.  His horses were good enough to get the teams to the big show and into the playoffs.  They just didn't win enough when they got there and it wasn't necessarily always because of having lesser players.

 

I agree with that, but I also think Polian's rigid team building approach undermined the quality of the roster at times. Not that the rosters weren't good, just that they could have been even better if he had been more willing to make some aggressive moves at times.

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23 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I agree with that, but I also think Polian's rigid team building approach undermined the quality of the roster at times. Not that the rosters weren't good, just that they could have been even better if he had been more willing to make some aggressive moves at times.

 

The roster had quality players but lacked quality depth. Special teams was always constantly in the bottom fourth or fifth of the league and that showed versus complete teams in the playoffs. From a Dante Hall KR TD to Sproles/Scifres burning us to Ellis Hobbs' big returns in the 2006 AFCCG and Hester's SB KR TD and Hank Baskett's SB onside kick gaffe (both were SB firsts), the team did not have the best special teams coaches and/or players. These were just examples from the playoffs. The regular season laundry list is much larger. Adam Vinatieri was our best ST signing that played a big part in our SB win as well.

 

We built a team to play inside, and it showed in our offensive performances in the playoffs whenever we had to go on the road, until one run when we showed we could run it anywhere. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, NewColtsFan said:

Polian built THREE different franchises into Super Bowl teams.

 

Buffalo, Carolina, and the Colts.

 

The Bills went to four straight.  

 

The Panthers went in just their second year of existence. 

 

The Colts won more games in Polian time than every other team except the Patriots.

 

The chances of Ballard equaling that are incredibly small.    Doesn’t mean he can’t be great.   But that great?!   Not likely.

 

Yes, and more!  Good GM's not only hit on their high drafts, they uncover nuggets buried.  Here's a look at UDFA that outplayed drafted players for the Colts:

 

Kyle DeVan came to the Colts in 2009 from the Boise Burn out of the Arena Football League 2, (yes, AFL2 not AFL!!) and often outplayed drafted guys who were projected to be superior to him like Mike Pollack and Jamey Richard

 

Melvin Bullitt - remember this play?

 

Terrence Wilkins - Very good ST player and spot help

 

Ryan Lilja - Chiefs sign him as UDFA in 2004, but waived him hoping to place him on their PS.  But Polian claimed him and he was a staple Guard on the Colts O line until 2010

 

Dominic Rhodes - most rushing yards by rookie UDFA, great career with Colts as a #2 to Edge and Addai. (some felt he deserved MVP in Colts SB win in 2006 (2/4/2007)

 

Gary Bracket - Took starting MLB away from Rob Morris, anchored the D and was defense captain.  Fire hydrant build with cover skills, double digit career interceptions too.

 

Jeff Saturday - 5 time pro bowler.  Stellar career with Peyton Manning. 

No more need be said

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4 minutes ago, chad72 said:

 

The roster had quality players but lacked quality depth. Special teams was always constantly in the bottom fourth or fifth of the league and that showed versus complete teams in the playoffs. From a Dante Hall KR TD to Sproles/Scifres burning us to Ellis Hobbs' big returns in the 2006 AFCCG and Hester's SB KR TD and Hank Baskett's SB onside kick gaffe (both were SB firsts), the team did not have the best special teams coaches and/or players. These were just examples from the playoffs. The regular season laundry list is much larger. Adam Vinatieri was our best ST signing that played a big part in our SB win as well.

 

We built a team to play inside, and it showed in our offensive performances in the playoffs whenever we had to go on the road, until one run when we showed we could run it anywhere. 

 

All of that is true. I was thinking more about playmakers that might have been available at times, but Polian wasn't interested in free agency or trading picks for veterans. But you're right, there wasn't a lot of focus on special teams players back then, which showed up regularly. For years, the ST coverage was dreadful.

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A few thoughts:

 

Ballard's first draft, 2017, was ordinary.  Hooker and Wilson were probably over drafted. Basham, Banner, and maybe (soon) Hairston are out of the NFL  Mack is a rotational RB.

 

Leonard and Nelson are the only players who could start for a lot of other teams.   All other players drafted who have made the Colts roster, in part, have done so because it is/was a weak roster as much due to their own talent. 

 

Realistically, that's two players in two drafts, and both of them both very high to pretty high picks, #6 and #36, so its not like he found two players with a scarcity of capital.

 

I wouldn't consider anything about Ballard's first two drafts to be exceptional.  He has probably maximized his capital very well, considering he has traded well (and benefited from/ took advantage of a QB heavy 2018 draft)

 

As far as BB: I have never thought of him as being a fantastic drafter.  He has had his share of busts/over drafts too.  He seems to find guys to fit his system, and that's where he excels.  Also, he finds ways to use players to maximize their abilities; in a way, allowing them to perform better than they really are, so to speak.  That's more about coaching than drafting, IMO.

 

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52 minutes ago, Superman said:

 

I agree with that, but I also think Polian's rigid team building approach undermined the quality of the roster at times. Not that the rosters weren't good, just that they could have been even better if he had been more willing to make some aggressive moves at times.

   To your point: he said that he regretted not getting a DT that was a difference maker.        The inability to stop the run hurt the Colts in most of those years.

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12 minutes ago, coltsfeva said:

   To your point: he said that he regretted not getting a DT that was a difference maker.        The inability to stop the run hurt the Colts in most of those years.

Yes, he has said that.  I don't know if he is speaking generally, or about specific drafts and players.  

 

He was always drafting in the low end of the round.  At the time of his drafts, I could never think of a good DT he had a chance to draft that he passed on.  Geno Atkins comes to mind as a player he should have drafted.  But generally, I think he was hindered by never being in a good position to draft a really good DT.

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5 hours ago, Superman said:

 

I always want to give Polian credit for that Panthers SB team, but we can't. He left Carolina in '97, they didn't go to the SB until 2003 (same year the Colts lost to the Pats in the AFCCG, when Polian complained about the defensive holding, which led to the tightened rules in 2004).

 

What we're thinking of is the '99 team that went to the NFCCG in '96, and lost to the Packers. 

 

Thank you for that.   Yours is a better and more accurate memory than mine!    Heck, than all of us!   You're correct.    Got his franchise to the conference championship game in his 2nd year.   

 

Much appreciated.    I stand corrected!     :thmup:

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4 hours ago, DougDew said:

A few thoughts:

 

Ballard's first draft, 2017, was ordinary.  Hooker and Wilson were probably over drafted. Basham, Banner, and maybe (soon) Hairston are out of the NFL  Mack is a rotational RB.

 

Leonard and Nelson are the only players who could start for a lot of other teams.   All other players drafted who have made the Colts roster, in part, have done so because it is/was a weak roster as much due to their own talent. 

 

Realistically, that's two players in two drafts, and both of them both very high to pretty high picks, #6 and #36, so its not like he found two players with a scarcity of capital.

 

I wouldn't consider anything about Ballard's first two drafts to be exceptional.  He has probably maximized his capital very well, considering he has traded well (and benefited from/ took advantage of a QB heavy 2018 draft)

 

As far as BB: I have never thought of him as being a fantastic drafter.  He has had his share of busts/over drafts too.  He seems to find guys to fit his system, and that's where he excels.  Also, he finds ways to use players to maximize their abilities; in a way, allowing them to perform better than they really are, so to speak.  That's more about coaching than drafting, IMO.

 

 

Doug.......   

 

I'm going to apologize in advance...    sincerely, I'm sorry for what I'm about to write.   Because if you read this full post,  you're going to be convinced that I not only hate your guts,  but that I want you to burn in Hell for all eternity and beyond if possible.    I give you my word,  I don't hate you,  nor do I wish you to get burnt to a crisp in the Home of the Devil.

 

But this is the post is one of the worst things you've ever written.   Top to bottom, just awful.   Look,  as a wise man once said,  you're entitled to your own opinion,  but you're not entitled to your own facts.     And there are no known facts that support this post of yours.   It's entirely false  and full of viewpoints that are just not supported by anything.


Look how much is in bold.    All of that is a big, GIGANTIC steaming pile of WRONG!

 

First, it should be noted that in NFL circles,  drafts are not judged until after year 3,  and Ballard is just starting year 3.

 

As far as I know,  you're the only person who thinks Hooker and Wilson were "over drafted."

Hooker was in everyone's top-10.   It's great that he fell to us,  but beyond the fact that since Day One you didn't like the pick,  your view of Hooker is also impacted because you didn't think his injury was all that bad, (wrong) and you don't understand how to judge the type of ability and skill set that he brings to the defense.   So you recently dismissed his high PFF grade and ranking in 2018.   This despite the fact that he played clearly not 100% after his worse-than-you-thought injury.   All stories this year that mention Hooker mention that he's healthy this year.

 

As for Wilson...   Not only did he grade out really well in the 2nd half of last season,  but I read in the last 7-10 days,  that Wilson,  now going into his third year, is actually YOUNGER than Rock Ya-Sin.  If that doesn't register,  I'll put it another way,   Rock, a rookie,  is actually OLDER than Wilson going into his third year.    That's how young Wilson was when we took him.   The youngest player in the '17 draft.   It's taken him time to grow-up.   But youth is a plus,  not a minus.   Stories here on Colts.com have also noted that Wilson is actually DOWN 20 pounds this off-season.   And has roughly cut his body fat in half.   From roughly 14 percent to roughly 7 percent.   Ballard heaps praise on him whenever given the chance.   

 

Both Hooker and Wilson either went after they were projected or roughly about where they projected.    But over-drafted?    That's your unique viewpoint.

 

In the NFL world,  a good/decent draft is getting three starters out of the draft.   Look at this draft again.   Hooker,  Wilson, Mack,  Walker.    And when Hairston gets cut,  I'm here to tell you here and now that he's NOT out of the NFL as you predict.    He'll be claimed by another NFL team.    Do you remember during Free Agency, we brought in a player,  a DB, named Kentrell Brice?    We worked him out and didn't sign him.   Well,  PFF crushed him.   He had a super low grade from them.   People here were upset simply because we brought him in for a look-see and kicked the tires.   Some here acted as if they were deeply offended.

 

What happened to Brice?  He was signed by Tampa and I saw a story this week that says he might just START for them.   Hairston had a good rookie year and a disappointing second year due somewhat to injury.   And based on just that you're ready to proclaim he'll be out of the NFL?    Nonsense.

 

Continuing.....

 

Leonard and Nelson are the only two who could start for any other team?    Sorry,  but this is your Ballard-HATE speaking.    And please spare me the denial.    Only someone who either doesn't know football or just HATES someone's guts would make such a silly claim.   Braden Smith?   Hooker?    Wilson?   Mack?    Walker?       You can't be serious?     No other teams would want those guys to start for them?     You're coming from a very dark place to even suggest this.

 

You wouldn't consider anything Ballard has done in his first two drafts exceptional?    Sorry,  but that's what kids today call.....   an EPIC FAIL!!     Feel free to name another draft that had two players the caliber of Nelson and Leonard?   Did you not see that those two plus Smith landed on the NFL all-under-25 teams?    3 players.   From the same draft.    And you didn't think that's exceptional?    Dear God,  where does this come from?

 

Doug.....     Bill Belichick may not be a fantastic drafter....    but he's somehow managed to win 6 super bowls.     Where do you think he gets those players?     It's not just great coaching.   Is he a great drafter?   That's in the eye of the beholder.   But he knows how to trade UP and trade DOWN better than most.   And he accumlates extra picks better than most.   And he knows how to work the extra compensatory picks better than anyone.    But finding guys that "fit his system" is in part what makes BB a very good drafter.   He knows the talent that fits what he wants.   Interestingly, this sounds like something very similar to Chris Ballard.   He's got certain qualities that he wants,  and he tries to find those players.

 

I'm sorry this is such a long, negative rant.   But there was so much to comment on.    This kind of post surfaces from you once or twice a year.    It does not serve you well.    This one will likely come back to haunt you.   To be quoted by others against you.   Again,  you're entitled to your own unique views,  but at least have something to back it up with.    The facts,  the NFL standards are hard against you. 

 

This is the kind of post that makes me say from time to time....    

 

You live in Dew-ville.   Population 1.     Sorry.

 

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5 hours ago, DougDew said:

Ballard's first draft, 2017, was ordinary.  Hooker and Wilson were probably over drafted. Basham, Banner, and maybe (soon) Hairston are out of the NFL  Mack is a rotational RB.

You are wrong on every account in your opening thought!

 

Hooker was projected to go HIGHER than 15 and Wilson was rated a borderline 1st Rounder. They were drafted right where they should have been. 

 

Hooker was having an incredible DROY type season until the cheap shot he took against the Jags that cost him the 2nd half of the season. He played solid last year considering he was still healing AND very few teams dared throwing to his side which stats bear that out.

 

Wilson has taken a bit of time to percolate, but, when he has played and started turning it on that lock down corner started to emerge last year and once again the stats are there to prove it.

 

Basham plays for the Jets in their 3-4 defense. Still in the league.

 

Basham played in 9 games as a rookie with the Panthers and is now a Steeler. Still in the league.

 

Hairston had a great rookie season per stats and took a step back last year while a certain Kenny Moore took a monumental leap and TOOK the nickel back spot and never giving Hairston a chance. Hairston may lose out to Collins and/or Rock Ya-Sin this year but he'll be claimed quickly and be a solid contributor elsewhere.

 

Mack is a rotational back? Seriously? Where were you when he finished the season as a top 5 back when was healthy? From like week 6 thru 17? Did we not watch the same games? Sheesh....

 

Grover Stewart has been a solid rotational piece and due an increase in minutes this year as a 4th rounder in 2017 from tiny Albany. Solid pick.

 

Oh, what about our final pick that year? The 5th rounder who is the starting MLB and racked up 100+ tackles last year? He's not too shabby either. Anthony Walker Jr......

 

8 picks.

4 Starters.

2 Depth Players.

2 With other teams.

 

Every one of them still in the league.

 

50% Starters is NOT an ordinary draft.

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What separates Ballard from Polian is Ballard has a top 3 scouting Staff where Polian was a one man wrecking crew.  In the long run as long as Ballard can keep his team together, he will have better success in my opinion.  Back to back stellar drafts is just the start to Mr Ballard’s legacy and after this yr the NFL will take notice.  Only thing missing is the Championship hardware and I hope this coaching staff has what it takes to utilize this young talent Ballard and Scouts provided?

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To answer the Op's question, he could but way too early to tell. That is like saying can Luck be as great as Manning was? Ballard and Luck both need to win at least 1 SB and a lot of games over the next 5 years to match those two guys.

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Way too early.

 

One great draft, and one decent season so far. 

 

Good start, but need a few more years of progression before I can even ponder the question. 

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