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What if Ballard was hired in 2012? Predict the team's draft history from 2012-2015.


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Without overcomplicating things, I figure this had always been a what-if in my mind for years. Without too much speculation, I will use this to encompass rounds 1-3 only.

 

I will post my response in a few minutes.

 

Keep in mind this is to simulate the most likely draft we will see, not the ideal drafts that we want.

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2012

1. Andrew Luck (duh)

2. Kelechi Osemele (G) - can VERY certainly see the pick. Helps him build the trenches with a poor man's Quenton Nelson. Especially since they are exactly the same height and weight.

3. Dwayne Allen (TE) - Ballard not usually high on TEs early, but passing up the John Mackey award winner would be too much. He knows a new rookie TE needs receiving options.

 

2013

1. Deandre Hopkins (WR) - no way he doesn't make this pick. The Texans were smart to make the pick for a franchise WR (until they flushed it down the drain), so Ballard gets his franchise WR in this draft. Gets top 10 pick talent a the end of the 1st round.

2. Larry Warford (G) - pick not traded for Vontae Davis. He gets a physical guard, continues to build the O-line. A line of Castonzo-Osemele-Satele-Warford-Cherilus has a major weak link in the middle, but otherwise is a solid starting 5.

3. Jordan Hill (DT) - strikes me as a Ballard type three-technique.

 

2014

1. Dee Ford (DE) - pick not traded away in the Trent Richardson trade. Very similar player to Ben Banogu, I can see this pick being made.

2. Chris Borland (LB) - a sleeper pick, much like the types of Julian Blackmon, Braden Smith, Danny Pinter, Robert Windsor. Can't see him not making this pick.

3. Donte Moncrief (WR) - gets what was considered to be 1-2nd round talent in round 3.

 

2015

Assuming the same defeat at the hands of the Patriots stay (though not as one-sided)...

1. Malcom Brown (DT) - Ballard upgrades the defense immediately starting from the D-line.

2. Owa Odighizuwa (DE) - same. At the time, Owa was considered a very high end prospect, physical freak with the build of a Greek god. The pick will be a bust pick though.

3. Kwon Alexander (LB) - can easily see this being his Darius Leonard or Bobby Okereke pick (though of course not as good of a player as either).

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I don't know how to do this without over-complicating it. 

 

History has proven that Grigson didn't draft well, and I think that's a mix of his draft philosophy and scouting, plus not being on the same page with his coaching staff (and part of that is the not-fully-backed approach of Pagano and his assistants, plus the changes on the offensive side of the ball). 

 

The jury is still out on Ballard's drafting. He's had some major successes, but also has a number of misses. So I don't think it's realistic to go back to 2012 and attribute best case scenario drafting to Ballard, as if he wouldn't have made any bad picks himself. He probably wouldn't have traded for Richardson or drafted Werner, but we don't know that he would have knocked those picks out of the park, either.

 

And to be clear, I really like Ballard. But we don't know what the 2012 version of Ballard would have done. He was still the director of pro scouting in Chicago. Hadn't worked with John Dorsey or Andy Reid, two of his biggest influences. 

 

But if we assume we had gotten the 2017 version of Ballard back in 2012, I think the biggest difference would be his collaborative nature leading to a different environment within the building. There's a good chance Pagano isn't hired, and while Pagano didn't turn out to be a great coach, he brought a lot of positives to the team for a while. So did Arians. There's also a chance we don't draft TY, and that doesn't make me happy.

 

Of course the Luck pick remains a lock. I don't know what to say about the rest of it, though. 

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you used hindsight to pick the best players on the board in your redraft

 

2013 was a weak class, no way hopkins would have lasted that long if every one was going by hindsight 

 

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Several players I predicted to be busts and/or limited successes; they are not the best players on the board but I can certain see them being Ballard type picks.

 

e.g. Owa Odighizuwa, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen, Jordan Hill.

 

I can almost 99% see him drafting either Osemele or Warford above in those scenarios.

In 2014, maybe replace Dee Ford with Dominique Easley. I can easily see that move; it would be very similar to Tyquan Lewis and Robert Windsor, except in an earlier round.

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Well, lets not forget that in 2012 we were also transitioning to a 3-4 under Pagano. And knowing that Ballard goes for value rather than need, and his liking for building the trenches, I think something like this maybe. 

 

2012:

1st: Luck, obvs.

2nd: Mitchell Schwartz - The name that stands out to me is the big OT from California. He originally went to KC 2 picks later. He was widely looked at as a fringe 1st rounder and getting that level of talent at a premium position would make sense philosophically as well as bolstering a sorry looking line.  

3rd: Dwayne Allen - I think is a very Ballard pick. Good all-around TE talent playing in the SEC. 

4th: Alameda Ta'amu - The big nose tackle that a 3-4 can't operate without. Building the trenches. 

 

2013:

1st: Xavier Rhodes - Hindsight. I know. But he fits what Ballard loves. Rhodes was falling in the draft and was widely mocked in the teens. He's a tall boundary corner from Florida. Remind you of anyone else Ballard drafted? Not to mention he signed him as FA so we know he's a fan. 

2nd: Larry Warford - This pick was originally traded for Vontae. Ballard isn't a big trader other than up or down in the draft, so I'm saying that we keep this pick. In keeping with the philosophy, build the trenches. Warford was the next trenches player taken IRL. He has a similar stature to Braden Smith, albeit shorter. 

3rd: Brian Schwenke - The new centre for the line. He was a Ballard signee as a FA in his first offseason. Building the line for his young QB to operate behind. 

4th: Quinton Patton - Small-school WR to add to the armoury

 

2014:

1st: DeMarcus Lawrence - The infamous Trent Richardson pick. Looking at who is available for me it would be between DeMarcus Lawrence and Kelvin Benjamin. I think Kelvin had too many weight issues for Ballard so I would go with Lawrence. Freeney would likely be done by now and Mathis is starting to age. 

2nd: Allen Robinson - A WR to help Luck. Tall and well built rather than than the flashy but smaller Jarvis Landry. 

3rd: DaQuan Jones - Another big body along the D-line. 

4th: Pierre Desir - Tall corner that Ballard was a fan of. Coincidentally was taken by Cleveland with this pick after we traded back. 

 

2015:

1st: Malcolm Brown - I know people will be clamoring for Landon Collins. But Brown fits the mold as a big-bodied rough and tumble D-lineman.

2nd: Tyler Lockett - Speed demon receiver and return-man. Opens up the offense. 

3rd: Clayton Geathers - Well-built strong safety. He had a captain's badge slapped on his chest so Ballard must have liked him. He would come in and compete for a starting safety spot and be a ST demon. 

4th: Jay Ajayi - A new RB to compliment whoever we had previously.  

 

2016: 

1st: Darron Lee - We would in this version have centre covered so Ryan Kelly wouldn't be the pick. Lee was a productive, athletic and smart LB coming out of a successful programme. 

2nd: Mackensie Alexander - Fringe first round talent in the late 2nd. High value position. Rhodes would be coming towards his contract year. 

3rd: Le'Raven Clark - Drafted at this position, still on the team as a 6th man O-lineman. Tall with long arms. 

4th: Blake Martinez - LB to add to the mix. 

 

Definitely interesting to look back!

 

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6 hours ago, UKColt13 said:

3rd: Brian Schwenke - The new centre for the line. He was a Ballard signee as a FA in his first offseason. Building the line for his young QB to operate behind. 

 

 

I had forgotten about that. He was awful for us in preseason and didn't make final cuts. He really hit a rough patch for a while, and he's only 29. I wonder if he'll ever make it back on the field. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/29/2020 at 3:35 AM, Legend_Coslosky said:

Andrew Luck would still be playing in the NFL.

 

^^^This. Game, set, match!! That is all that needs to be said.

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On 6/22/2020 at 1:20 PM, Superman said:

And to be clear, I really like Ballard. But we don't know what the 2012 version of Ballard would have done. He was still the director of pro scouting in Chicago. Hadn't worked with John Dorsey or Andy Reid, two of his biggest influences. 

Decker, too. He's been a very important cog in the Colts' player assessment program. I'd love to know how many times he's nixed a guy that one of the scouts or coaches has been all hyped up about. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't even give Grigson credit for drafting Luck because he had no choice. Jim Irsay already made it clear the Colts were taking Luck with the first pick before Grigson got hired. All his other picks were busts or never lived to the potential in which Grigson thought he had in them. Hilton and Kelly were his only two picks he didn't whiff on. Jack Mewhort was solid before the career ending injury. Ballard literally filled an entire roster with most of his picks. Most of Ballard's picks are starting for the 2020 Colts or producing in some sort of capacity. 

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This is fun, but I can’t do it without being dragged down into my own personal wishes of who we should have picked vs. what Ballard might have done. 
 

I’m not even sure what schemes for the offense and defense a 2012 Ballard would choose. Too much bias on my part... 

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13 hours ago, Legend_Coslosky said:

I don't even give Grigson credit for drafting Luck because he had no choice. Jim Irsay already made it clear the Colts were taking Luck with the first pick before Grigson got hired. All his other picks were busts or never lived to the potential in which Grigson thought he had in them. Hilton and Kelly were his only two picks he didn't whiff on. Jack Mewhort was solid before the career ending injury. Ballard literally filled an entire roster with most of his picks. Most of Ballard's picks are starting for the 2020 Colts or producing in some sort of capacity. 

Luck would still be our QB and probably wouldn't have had the major injury history he now has and the team would have likely won a super bowl or two...

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On 7/30/2020 at 12:16 PM, jameszeigler834 said:

Luck would still be our QB and probably wouldn't have had the major injury history he now has and the team would have likely won a super bowl or two...

Luck's infamous snowboarding injury also played a part in his injury history. So it wasn't 100% on the Colts. 

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I can 101% see Ballard taking Kelechi Osemele in the second round in 2012, essentially a poor man's Quenton Nelson; both have extremely similar builds, games.

 

Coincidentally, both are exactly 6'5'', 330 lbs also.

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On 8/1/2020 at 12:29 AM, crazycolt1 said:

Luck's infamous snowboarding injury also played a part in his injury history. So it wasn't 100% on the Colts. 

And not to mention is lack of avoiding a hit.

 

Stayed up to long against Denver when he lacerated his kodney.

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1 hour ago, w87r said:

And not to mention is lack of avoiding a hit.

 

Stayed up to long against Denver when he lacerated his kodney.

Ultimately what made Luck so fun to watch played a big part in his demise as a player. 

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