Ballard is a better talent evaluator (at least at most positions). He’s clearly the smarter and better GM in that regard (how much better is subjective but it’s a noticeable amount). I also think he has had far more resources too though.
But I think the argument you are making is how much does that matter without the results? And when does it become about the results?
But if you are looking for an objective comparison between the two...you likely won’t find it on a Colts discussion forum. It’s not a valid comp to make anyways imo...but it doesn’t matter. The way so many people vilify Grigs and deify Ballard now has made it too polarizing of a topic. And for so many...Grigs is now the villain and Ballard the hero no matter what happens.
Everyone is entitled their own opinion though. I just don’t think Ballard is as great as most think and that Grigs was as bad as most think. Or to put it another way...Ballard gets too much credit and Grigs not enough.
And anyways, I choose to look back on the Grigs/Luck era fondly. It was a very exciting time to be a Colts fans...playoff football, active FA periods, SB hype. Luck getting hurt when he did was a very unfortunate turn of events, but % happens.
I was thinking about this yesterday, and I think it's actually essential that the Colts sign a tackle in FA. They don't need to spend big, but finding a league average guy for like 1/$8m would be fantastic.
The Colts definitely also need to address tackle in the draft. However, if they go into the draft without a league average tackle, they have to take one with pick 21 (or trade back slightly and take one with the new pick). Even if s great player falls there - Kwitty Paye, one of the good corners or receivers, etc. - they'll be forced to pass on them and take a tackle because they have nothing else there.
If someone like AV is signed, a league average starter would already be in place, and you would have maximum flexibility to take whoever you want with pick 21.
If it's a non-tackle that you can't pass on, you can take him. If it's a tackle that you want, you can take him and actually have depth at tackle for a change. If you are comfortable trading back and still taking a tackle later, you can do that too.
People are placing far too much stock in the cliche that guards are less valuable. The average guard is less valuable than the average tackle, but the best guard in the league is way more valuable than like 90% of the NFL.
It’s really not though. Luck was great, but it’s not like he was Mahomes setting the league on fire. He never had a QBR above 66 during those (3) seasons.
And his best season (prior to 2018) was actually 2016...and the Colts went 8-8.
It’s a team sport. Watson was a top 3-5 QB this past season and his team won 4 games. Stafford has a losing record in his career. Great QB play is the most important thing...but it doesn’t win 11 games on its own.
So I disagree that Luck was dragging those teams to 11-win seasons. And I know that’s not what you said...but I see this argument quite often. And it’s disingenuous at best.
They were good teams. They beat other really good teams as well, including in the playoffs where Luck was less than stellar (to put it politely).
And to be fair, Ballard’s only playoff win (in 4 seasons as GM) was with Luck at QB. So it’s not like he has truly separated himself in that regard (at least from a playoff standpoint). If the Colts don’t win a playoff game this season, that will be his 5th season (the same number Grigson had).