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"Cam Brady, it's a mess!" - 2020 QB Landscape


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No position in football is more important than QB.  Fact.  There are exactly 3 QB draft prospects (Burrow, Tua, Herbert) who teams would splash out for as franchise signal-callers.  Indy would have to move up in front of teams with bigger QB woes than ours to get one of them and you can safely assume it would be costly.

 

Perspectives:

Indy has some draft capital to go with massive cap space, which allows some wiggle room in terms of draft strategy and trade potential.  

Brissett is under contract through 2020, but is too young to be a true mentor for a young project.  If he was the face of the franchise, we'd know it by now.  That leaves us in an awkward spot.  

There is no FA QB not named Brees (who will re-sign with New Orleans) who will be a franchise QB and even Pollyanna concedes that the Colts are not "one player away" from contending for a title.  We never truly contended for one when we DID have Andrew Luck.  

Say the names of the potential FA QBs out loud and tell me in your heart of hearts that one of them conjures visions of banners in the rafters.

 

The million-dollar question then is "what to do?"

 

As someone fascinated by strategy I find the situation to be exciting, not stressful.  Ballard has long-term vision and will not "Trubisky" us unless he's certain he's got the right rookie.  As fans at least we can have a little faith in that.  Given the variables at play here I'd say:

 

This is a great time to play "wait and see" with your host Chris Ballard.  He makes heady decisions both short and long term without getting overextended.  At #13, the team is close enough to move up for someone if they really want him.  I can't say with confidence that we'll have a measurably higher slot than that in the next few years unless, of course, we trade out of the 1st again to load up for 2021.  If Ballard/Reich are that sold on a FA QB they have plenty of resources to land him.  That being the case, you'd expect to see that move early in FA because at the end of the day nobody can outbid us.  If not the case, we're back to "wait-and-see" on draft day... Ballard's strength as a flexible and patient GM.  

 

I've made some reasonable assumptions that may or may not be accurate.  This is an open-ended post with no solution required.  I'd just like to hear some thoughts from fellow armchair warriors with a penchant for strategy and analysis. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would agree on most point and I like our GM.  Seems like a pretty heady and patient guy, even if sometimes a little TOO conservative.  He just doesn't strike me as a big risk-taker type and I would be VERY surprised if he made a move to trade up for one of the QB's.  And if he did, I could only see the likes of Burrow or Tua being involved, with an outside shot at Herbert.  But if he DID make a move up for Love or one of the others, then I would just defer to his draft brilliance.  He has earned that thus far.  Of course, as I put it in another thread, his future will be ominously tied to that decision, for better or worse.  And because he would be giving up draft capital, it might even overshadow some of the good decisions he has already made, right or wrong.

 

I think Jordan Love seems like a good "kid".  I think he's got a live arm and an effortless throwing motion.  I will readily admit there is a lot of upside with him.  And a small part of me would be sort of intrigued at the Colts drafting him (possibly because he is a QB and the Colts need a franchise guy?).  But there are also a lot of questions, maybe too many for me.  I personally don't think he's a generational talent and, IMHO, that is the only type I would consider trading UP for.  But, as I said, if Ballard truly believes it then I'm on board that train and will hope like hell he is STILL the smartest guy in the room.

 

If he sees it the same way I do, then he will hype it up, get others to create a run on QB's, and leave more bacon for the feast at 13 (or lower if he decides to trade back and acquire more draft capital for '21........Lawrence anyone?).

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Yeah, a pessimistic viewpoint as far as our chances go.  I agree, we aren’t one player away from being contenders - we are already contenders!  

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So many of the QB possibilities rumored to involve the Colts have validity in strategic concept, but the only rumor that truly makes sense is P. Rivers and drafting the 4th QB after San Diego picks Herbert or Love.  But here is why that won't happen:

 

Thru 7 games (plus fraction of 8th)  J. Brissett is 5-2 (6-2...we clearly win @ Pitt)

153/236 - 65%

14 TD / 3 picks

1649 yds (on pace for an efficient 3600+)

Wins vs. KC (road) Houston and TN (home)

 

We all know what happened the second half of the season...but once the dust settles, objectivity returns, and options are weighed...Ballard and Reich will believe (maybe rightly so) that Brisset of games 1-8 is as good or better of an option at QB1 than any of Rivers, Bridgewater, Dalton etc. for winning now, and developing a young drafted QB for the future.

 

Ballard and Reich are not the type to pursue change for the sake of change - they will expect a clear performance delta from bringing a vet in and discharging Brissett.  Unfortunately, those vet options don't represent a clear enough path to definitively better - at least not the options that are realistically viable (Rivers, Bridgewater, Dalton)

 

Carr is the wildcard, but has played at a high enough level the last 2 years that Gruden won't let him go for anything less than a HOF caliber Vet.  Those options are likely to elude him.  We also know how much Gruden hates rookie QB's.

 

Arians and Tampa are the most sensible spot for Rivers at this stage...but they are still a threat to leap us for the right to draft the 4th QB at 10 or so

 

Carolina is the key variable.  If Rhule sees the future in the 4th QB...then everyone else is living to fight another day or trading back into the late 1st to develop Eason.

 

I think the dominos fall for the Colts to either stand on 13 and draft Love or (more likely) trade up to 10 to ensure that TB doesn't....and roll with Brissett in 2020.

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4 hours ago, AZColt11 said:

if Ballard truly believes it then I'm on board that train and will hope like hell he is STILL the smartest guy in the room.

 

Your well-articulated response is appreciated.  I quoted this section to emphasize some variables concerning GM decision-making process.  The word "still" in full caps reminds us that in the NFL, you're only as good as your next move.  That notion, coupled with the challenge of mediating pressure from team owners, can undoubtedly affect a GM's personnel decisions in the name of self-preservation.  

 

Every night Dan Snyder dreams of meddling with front office affairs so he can get a head start on doing it when he wakes up.  Colin Cowherd, in speaking of Peyton Manning as a head coach prospect said, "Peyton doesn't see all the people below him.  He sees the 2 people above him."  

 

All that being said, I don't believe that Ballard is in that type of situation and has earned enough street cred to do things his way without the guy writing the checks trying to interfere with the process.  Irsay, like all owners, is used to having power and influence.  In this particular case, he can relax and let the professionals do their work.

 

We'll never know the depth of that dynamic in Indy, but it's a true luxury to have a guy we can all put a little faith in for the future of the franchise.

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3 hours ago, ztboiler said:

We all know what happened the second half of the season...but once the dust settles, objectivity returns, and options are weighed...Ballard and Reich will believe (maybe rightly so) that Brisset of games 1-8 is as good or better of an option at QB1 than any of Rivers, Bridgewater, Dalton etc. for winning now, and developing a young drafted QB for the future.

 

Good points and thanks for the stats on Brissett.  The mediocrity of FA QBs really doesn't leave many options other than to draft a rookie project and at least buy some time until the right situation presents itself.  While I don't think Brissett is a franchise QB, he is certainly serviceable.  

 

With all the moving parts in the league right now, it's hard to tell how things will play out other than in the moment.  Everything could be going swimmingly in the top end of the draft, then Bruce Arians comes out of nowhere to scoop up a guy Ballard had planned to take.  

 

I've heard more than one of my bosses use the quote "It's a fluid process."  While I sometimes feel that's a nonsense answer that doesn't really tell you anything... it doesn't make it any less true here in the NFL where your options change daily based on the interdependent variables at play.  

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1 hour ago, BluHorzhu said:

 

Your well-articulated response is appreciated.  I quoted this section to emphasize some variables concerning GM decision-making process.  The word "still" in full caps reminds us that in the NFL, you're only as good as your next move.  That notion, coupled with the challenge of mediating pressure from team owners, can undoubtedly affect a GM's personnel decisions in the name of self-preservation.  

 

Every night Dan Snyder dreams of meddling with front office affairs so he can get a head start on doing it when he wakes up.  Colin Cowherd, in speaking of Peyton Manning as a head coach prospect said, "Peyton doesn't see all the people below him.  He sees the 2 people above him."  

 

All that being said, I don't believe that Ballard is in that type of situation and has earned enough street cred to do things his way without the guy writing the checks trying to interfere with the process.  Irsay, like all owners, is used to having power and influence.  In this particular case, he can relax and let the professionals do their work.

 

We'll never know the depth of that dynamic in Indy, but it's a true luxury to have a guy we can all put a little faith in for the future of the franchise.

 

Irsay has his "demons" but I think one thing in his favor is that he not only grew up around the game, he PLAYED it, which has in part led to some of his health issues and, directly as a result of that, his "demons".  He knows the game unlike some of the other owners out there, and I believe he knows when to step in and say his peace and when he just needs to sit back and let the pros do their thing.  That is probably what I like most about him as an owner.......that and the fact he will open up the checkbook when needed.

 

I think Irsay knows what he had in NaPolian, and I think he sees the same things in Ballard.  I don't believe he EVER had that same feeling about Grigs, although he seemed to like him a lot personally.  But I see him giving Ballard a long leash, and I think for the most part he will let Ballard do his thing.  Drafting 2 All-Pros in one draft, which has rarely ever been done (what was it, like 5 or 6 times?), will buy you some serious street cred.  Which brings me to why this draft is so interesting because if he makes a move UP to draft a QB like some are saying he might, it will either turn the tide against him or elevate him to the stratosphere.

 

Should be entertaining to see what happens.

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7 hours ago, AZColt11 said:

I personally don't think he's a generational talent

 

'21........Lawrence anyone?).

 

1- that word, generational, gets thrown around way too much.  How many hall of fame players are in a generation?  I'd settle for a guy that level... Manning wasn't even a generational player.

 

2- That ain't happening.  Unless you think they will lose enough to pick top 5, probably top 3... The teams that are that bad? Not passing on Lawrence or Fields for whatever they currently have at QB.  No, Lawrence and Fields are probably not generational players either.  

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2 minutes ago, Shafty138 said:

 

1- that word, generational, gets thrown around way too much.  How many hall of fame players are in a generation?  I'd settle for a guy that level... Manning wasn't even a generational player.

 

2- That ain't happening.  Unless you think they will lose enough to pick top 5, probably top 3... The teams that are that bad? Not passing on Lawrence or Fields for whatever they currently have at QB.  No, Lawrence and Fields are probably not generational players either.  

1- I've always thought it meant "generational for that team", not the best player of the decade or something like that.

2 - If you look at what I said before that, they would need the draft capital to be able to trade up for him.  If they traded back THIS year they may be able to get that.

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