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Ballard looking like a genius


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1 minute ago, NewColtsFan said:

I’m going to go out on a limb and say the positions you value may not be in line with the positions Chris Ballard values.

 

I’ll go with Ballard and take my chances.... 

Why would you compare a professional GM to a fan on the internet, then say you'll take the GM?  

 

Seems like an odd way to contribute to a thread.

 

Said it for a reason other than to contribute maybe?   What is that reason?

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Drafting Taylor and Blackmon to replace Mack and Hooker...   Imagine if he didn't 

As far as Ballard goes I still say he's one of the best GMs in NFL

He inherited a team with a franchise level QB, and in Ballard's three seasons as GM prior to 2020, that QB played 16 games. Not to mention the other nonsense and drama that's happened. Ballard has bee

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15 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Why would you compare a professional GM to a fan on the internet, then say you'll take the GM?  

 

Seems like an odd way to contribute to a thread.

 

Said it for a reason other than to contribute maybe?   What is that reason?

Your criticism seemed ill informed.   And I have no idea why you’d question my comment?    You’ve been second guessing Ballard since shortly after he arrived.   This just seemed like one more.  

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24 minutes ago, NewColtsFan said:

Your criticism seemed ill informed.   And I have no idea why you’d question my comment?    You’ve been second guessing Ballard since shortly after he arrived.   This just seemed like one more.  

Many people here have second guessed Ballard for specific decisions. (but if you notice, the use of high capital on Kelly I mentioned wasn't Ballard).  In fact, many are being more vocal about it and are citing some of the same reasons I have second guessed specific decisions for several years.

 

But with me, you assume that I'm saying that the Colts would be better with me as GM.    That's beyond ill informed.  That's just a stupid and childish way to read my comment. 

 

You read it as a way to give you a basis for lashing out, simply because you want to lash out and need to make up reasons to do so.  Like you do with so many here.

 

BTW, Luck is gone.  Why are you still here?  To lash out at the people you don't like?

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If Grigson put as much effort into fixing the OL as Ballard has done I honestly think Luck would have played several more years.

 

The Jets Colts trade where we got Smith and Nelson was HUGE!

 

They have both turned out to be solid acquisitions.

 

Nelson will be a future HOF

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5 minutes ago, danlhart87 said:

If Grigson put as much effort into fixing the OL as Ballard has done I honestly think Luck would have played several more years.

 

We've heard that for years. 

 

I think what some will begin to also say though, is if either GM put as much effort into fixing the WR and TE position as Ballard did the oline, Luck may have still wanted to play.

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Just now, DougDew said:

We've heard that for years.  Yawn.

 

I think what some will begin to also say though, is if either GM put as much effort into fixing the WR and TE position as Ballard did the oline, Luck may have still wanted to play.

Skill positions aren't important 

Trenches are by far the most important 

 

He helped the OL

Trading for Buckner improves DL

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1 hour ago, DougDew said:

Many people here have second guessed Ballard for specific decisions. (but if you notice, the use of high capital on Kelly I mentioned wasn't Ballard).  In fact, many are being more vocal about it and are citing some of the same reasons I have second guessed specific decisions for several years.

 

But with me, you assume that I'm saying that the Colts would be better with me as GM.    That's beyond ill informed.  That's just a stupid and childish way to read my comment. 

 

You read it as a way to give you a basis for lashing out, simply because you want to lash out and need to make up reasons to do so.  Like you do with so many here.

 

BTW, Luck is gone.  Why are you still here?  To lash out at the people you don't like?

I’ve been asked why I’m here before, and happy to answer the question.

 

I like the franchise.   I like the owner, the GM, the head coach.   I even like some of the fan base.  Even the city of Indianapolis.  
 

And let’s get real here....   I didn’t “lash out” here in this thread.   Not even a little.  I respectfully disagreed and said so.   If you’d like to end this,  consider it done. 

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8 hours ago, GoColts8818 said:

Peyton has as many as Shula and Polian has one less in terms of wins and appearances in the Super Bowl.  You might not think they are football geniuses but you would be in the very small minority of those that don’t.

If the word "genius" is going to apply to the sports world it must be attached to the word perfect. Only one coach has  perfect record in the modern day football world and that man is Shula. Polian is a HoF GM but not a genius.

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8 hours ago, DougDew said:

 

 

I think Ballard got a win with Buckner, and got good value with getting a 3 down RB (my projection) in Taylor and a competent #2 WR (my projection) in Pittman.  But he's going to have to allocate first round drat picks for a #1WR, a LT ,and a threatening DE over the next three years to make up for the Colts investing multiple first round picks in low value positions a few years ago.

 

And yes, the first 2 or 3 years Vontae Davis was here he basically played man and shut down the other teams #1WR.  That was a big deal that is missed very much.

I think you're going to be disappointed if you want a #1 used on a WR. Just don't see it happening. DE, LT, or QB, yes, but not WR. I get your frustration overall on WR, but let's not forget, Luck had a motley crew in 2018 and we were #6ish passing O. You probably don't know, but we're #7 right now. I'm fine with taking a WR in the 1st, if you can afford it, but there's other positions that simply have a lot greater drop off from early rounds to mid rounds. And WR is a position where your chances are still good into the mid rounds. 

 

And passing O just isn't about WRs, especially in our O. Purely my opinion, but as long as we're top 10 in passing O, we're not going earlier than 2nd round on a WR (or TE) unless one of those positions is totally void of talent.

 

Overall, Ballard has put in the effort with FA and draft capital. Just had some really bad luck with injury, so I don't see him changing his strategy when it comes to the position. 

 

And I think you mentioned CB. IMO, given our scheme (which like @Superman I'm still unsure of), doubt we're going to big on CB, or any DB for that matters given what Ballard has already invested in (primarily because we have bigger high dollar needs). I could see a FA more than draft though.

 

 

7 hours ago, DougDew said:

We've heard that for years. 

 

I think what some will begin to also say though, is if either GM put as much effort into fixing the WR and TE position as Ballard did the oline, Luck may have still wanted to play.

In Ballard's 4 years at pass-catcher, he's drafted two 2nds, one 5th, and 2 6ths, and a pass catching APB in the 4th. At the same time he signed FAs like Funchess, Ebron, and Grant. Grant didn't pan out, but at the time teams were after him. The Ravens were close to signing him to a 4 year deal. I still don't understand how he could flunk their physical and pass ours. Even if you discard the 5th and 6ths, that's 5 legit attempts at WR and TE in 4 years. I would call that effort.

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45 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

I think you're going to be disappointed if you want a #1 used on a WR. Just don't see it happening. DE, LT, or QB, yes, but not WR. I get your frustration overall on WR, but let's not forget, Luck had a motley crew in 2018 and we were #6ish passing O. You probably don't know, but we're #7 right now. I'm fine with taking a WR in the 1st, if you can afford it, but there's other positions that simply have a lot greater drop off from early rounds to mid rounds. And WR is a position where your chances are still good into the mid rounds. 

 

And passing O just isn't about WRs, especially in our O. Purely my opinion, but as long as we're top 10 in passing O, we're not going earlier than 2nd round on a WR (or TE) unless one of those positions is totally void of talent.

 

Overall, Ballard has put in the effort with FA and draft capital. Just had some really bad luck with injury, so I don't see him changing his strategy when it comes to the position. 

 

And I think you mentioned CB. IMO, given our scheme (which like @Superman I'm still unsure of), doubt we're going to big on CB, or any DB for that matters given what Ballard has already invested in (primarily because we have bigger high dollar needs). I could see a FA more than draft though.

 

 

In Ballard's 4 years at pass-catcher, he's drafted two 2nds, one 5th, and 2 6ths, and a pass catching APB in the 4th. At the same time he signed FAs like Funchess, Ebron, and Grant. Grant didn't pan out, but at the time teams were after him. The Ravens were close to signing him to a 4 year deal. I still don't understand how he could flunk their physical and pass ours. Even if you discard the 5th and 6ths, that's 5 legit attempts at WR and TE in 4 years. I would call that effort.

I agree with the WR statement, not necessarily a high first round pick  Then again, Pittman isn't really a take-the-top-off the defense type of WR like TY is, and Ballard spent a very high second on him. 

 

Reich's offense is supposed to be about disbursing the ball around with plays schemed to assist non-stud pass catchers, more so than the offense we used to have.  But any NFL offense needs playmakers who can do something with the ball once they get it.  

 

Having mid level talented skilled position players is sort of what we've had, and the lack of individual playmaking puts too much pressure on the QB and play caller executing the correct play.  Coaches benefit from having a player who can make two moves and go 60 yards by themselves, and they tend to not be found in mid to late rounds.

 

Also agreed about CB.  The zone scheme doesn't need a shut down corner like VD.  The scheme does need a 3 tech on the dline, and a better pass rush, so its nice to see the investment of pick 13 into a position that matters with the Buckner acquisition.

 

Personally, I think the pass rush can be done by committee.  Even great players get gassed.  But there should be one DE along with Buckner that the defense has to account for when he's in the game.  I think that player requires a first round investment.

 

I've always been less enthused about the need for a stud TE.  I think the plamaking pass catchers should be the WRs and versatile RBs, but to get the kind of TEs the NFL seems to want, I think its going to take a pretty high pick.

 

And then there is AC's retirement looming.  Always need a 1st rounder for a LT if you want him to start as a rookie, unless dumb luck lets one drop out of tree.

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9 hours ago, danlhart87 said:

Skill positions aren't important 

Trenches are by far the most important 

 

He helped the OL

Trading for Buckner improves DL

Oh my goodness.  Its not an either or thing.  Perennial playoff contenders have elite talent disbursed throughout the different spots on the field.  They can't just load up on the LOS.

 

We've seen the impact of having JAGs as ball handlers.  We've had a rotation of nobody's at the receiving position for years and nonversatile RBs who are only good at running between the tackles (for the most part)...spanning two GMs ...and Luck's entire NFL career.  Luck had to carry the O with no real help. 

 

Nice to see we finally got the stud interior DL we haven't had for 10 years.  Now its on to other needed positions.

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10 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I agree with the WR statement, not necessarily a high first round pick  Then again, Pittman isn't really a take-the-top-off the defense type of WR like TY is, and Ballard spent a very high second on him. 

Pittman was an early second, almost 1st, as was Rock. So in reality, some decent draft capital on both WR and CB. As far as WRs go, a dominant X with speed is harder to find than a speed guy. There's a reason why Pittman and Claypool were in demand. You can get the take-the-top-off guys later. The guys that go 1st are typically the guys that are just plain good in all phases. 

10 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Reich's offense is supposed to be about disbursing the ball around with plays schemed to assist non-stud pass catchers, more so than the offense we used to have.  But any NFL offense needs playmakers who can do something with the ball once they get it.

I wouldn't go that far saying it's built for non-stud pass catchers. Drafting guys like Pittman, Campbell, and signing Funch and Ebron don't jive with that line of thought. 

10 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Having mid level talented skilled position players is sort of what we've had, and the lack of individual playmaking puts too much pressure on the QB and play caller executing the correct play.  Coaches benefit from having a player who can make two moves and go 60 yards by themselves, and they tend to not be found in mid to late rounds.

Last year, having TY, Campbell, Funch, Ebron, Doyle, and Hines would be considered fantastic by most QBs had all stayed healthy. We just had some very bad luck, and also had a QB that was simply not that good. I think you're really forgetting about what Ballard "intended to have", and stuck on what happened because of injury and having a good QB retire.

10 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Also agreed about CB.  The zone scheme doesn't need a shut down corner like VD.  The scheme does need a 3 tech on the dline, and a better pass rush, so its nice to see the investment of pick 13 into a position that matters with the Buckner acquisition.

 

Personally, I think the pass rush can be done by committee.  Even great players get gassed.  But there should be one DE along with Buckner that the defense has to account for when he's in the game.  I think that player requires a first round investment.

Autry is balling out, so don't forget about him. He's playing much better now that he's back at DE, which shouldn't surprise most. The O has to account for Buckner and both Autry and Houston. Mohammad played very well last game to, and did much better than just the run stuffer label most gave him. Not sure if that continues, but he's a decent depth guy. I've very happy though with our starting 4. 

10 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I've always been less enthused about the need for a stud TE.  I think the plamaking pass catchers should be the WRs and versatile RBs, but to get the kind of TEs the NFL seems to want, I think its going to take a pretty high pick.

Burton is more slot than TE IMO. We don't run a lot of 2 TE sets anyway, so not a big deal. I'm good rolling with Doyle and MAC. Just need Doyle to get healthy. I'm most interested in who, besides Pascal, emerges at slot. Pascal is a "big-slot", and I want to see someone like Dulin or Hines emerge as the "traditional-slot". Don't be too surprised to see Hines line up in slot this week. 

 

10 minutes ago, DougDew said:

And then there is AC's retirement looming.  Always need a 1st rounder for a LT if you want him to start as a rookie, unless dumb luck lets one drop out of tree.

I wish we would have taken a flyer on Prince Tega Wanogho. Can't believe he dropped like he did after many were predicting early 2nd. Raw but full of potential. If he comes off the Eagles PS in a year or so and balls out I'll be highly irritated lol. 

 

I see either LT or DE as our #1. AC has looked all that great thus far (65ish PFF), but I'm not sure we pull the trigger next year with another year on his contract. I think it'll be DE if we don't resign Houston. If we do resign him, it's a coin flip I'd guess.

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17 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Pittman was an early second, almost 1st, as was Rock. So in reality, some decent draft capital on both WR and CB. As far as WRs go, a dominant X with speed is harder to find than a speed guy. There's a reason why Pittman and Claypool were in demand. You can get the take-the-top-off guys later. The guys that go 1st are typically the guys that are just plain good in all phases. 

I wouldn't go that far saying it's built for non-stud pass catchers. Drafting guys like Pittman, Campbell, and signing Funch and Ebron don't jive with that line of thought. 

Last year, having TY, Campbell, Funch, Ebron, Doyle, and Hines would be considered fantastic by most QBs had all stayed healthy. We just had some very bad luck, and also had a QB that was simply not that good. I think you're really forgetting about what Ballard "intended to have", and stuck on what happened because of injury and having a good QB retire.

Autry is balling out, so don't forget about him. He's playing much better now that he's back at DE, which shouldn't surprise most. The O has to account for Buckner and both Autry and Houston. Mohammad played very well last game to, and did much better than just the run stuffer label most gave him. Not sure if that continues, but he's a decent depth guy. I've very happy though with our starting 4. 

Burton is more slot than TE IMO. We don't run a lot of 2 TE sets anyway, so not a big deal. I'm good rolling with Doyle and MAC. Just need Doyle to get healthy. I'm most interested in who, besides Pascal, emerges at slot. Pascal is a "big-slot", and I want to see someone like Dulin or Hines emerge as the "traditional-slot". Don't be too surprised to see Hines line up in slot this week. 

 

I wish we would have taken a flyer on Prince Tega Wanogho. Can't believe he dropped like he did after many were predicting early 2nd. Raw but full of potential. If he comes off the Eagles PS in a year or so and balls out I'll be highly irritated lol. 

 

I see either LT or DE as our #1. AC has looked all that great thus far (65ish PFF), but I'm not sure we pull the trigger next year with another year on his contract. I think it'll be DE if we don't resign Houston. If we do resign him, it's a coin flip I'd guess.

A few thoughts:

 

The speed guy can't just have speed, otherwise you have Philip Dorsett.  TY could do many things, and that's what made him a threat.  He didn't go first round because of small school and probably size.  To get a TY talented guy who is bigger is going to take something higher than the low second round he was drafted, IMO.  Its possible to find one lower, but from a planning standpoint, I think you have to plan to devote a first round pick to get the same impact and mileage we got from TY.

 

The question is, can we get by without a TY?  That's a legitimate question.  So far, when TY has been absent, the Colts struggle, but maybe that's what the Pittman and Campbell investments are supposed to alleviate. 

 

While the other guys were talented, we signed them only because they were not good enough to be in the long term plans of the teams they left.  I don't think Ballard wants to use that FA method for key positions on a perpetual basis, and that's what the Pittman pick is supposed to stop.  Campbell was always more of a slot or a TY clone, not an X. 

 

IMO, Ballard has seen the need for having proper talent at the skilled positions by drafting a slot and an X with second round picks.  Thankfully, a Colts GM finally pulled those triggers, now we just need Campbell to live up to his investment.

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3 hours ago, King Colt said:

If the word "genius" is going to apply to the sports world it must be attached to the word perfect. Only one coach has  perfect record in the modern day football world and that man is Shula. Polian is a HoF GM but not a genius.

Shula is not the only genius in the history of football yet he’s also the only coach to go perfect.  You are moving the goal posts when your last set didn’t hold up.  Have whatever opinion you would like.  Most will disagree with you on this one.  

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16 minutes ago, DougDew said:

A few thoughts:

 

The speed guy can't just have speed, otherwise you have Philip Dorsett.  TY could do many things, and that's what made him a threat.  He didn't go first round because of small school and probably size.  To get a TY talented guy who is bigger is going to take something higher than the low second round he was drafted, IMO.  Its possible to find one lower, but from a planning standpoint, I think you have to plan to devote a first round pick to get the same impact and mileage we got from TY.

Let's look at the top 10 guys receiving last year.

1. Michael Thomas - he's a big (6-3) drafted in the 2nd, and runs a mediocre 4.57

2. Julio Jones - he's one of the rare 6-3 super fast elite guys (4.34) drafted in the 1st.

3. Chris Godwin - 3rd rounder with mediocre size (6-1) and good speed 4.42

4. DeVante Parker - another elite speed (4.4s) and size 6-3 guy taken in the first

5. Keenan Allen - 3rd rounder with OK size (6-2)  and mediocre speed

6. Kenny Golladay - 3rd rounder with almost identical size and speed to Pittman.

7. Amari Cooper - 1st rounder with OK size (6-1) and good speed (4.4s)

8. DJ Moore - 1st rounder with meh size (6-0) and good speed (4.4s)

9. Jarvis Landry - Second rounder with meh size (5-11) and meh speed

10. Deandre Hopkins - 1st rounder with ok size and meh speed. 

 

So to summarize

Five 1st rounders, and five 2nd and 3rd rounders. 

Four of the top 6 were 2nd or 3rd rounders

Four of the top 6 were 6-3 or above

 

So it's not an unreal expectation to think that Pittman can be a top 10 guy, a #1 WR for us, or take TY's place as our bell cow WR.

 

If you look past the to top 10 for another 20-30, you'll see a lot of non-1st round speed guys getting 900-1200 yards. You'll also see a few TEs and RBs appear throughout.

 

Just saying, you're fixation on a first round pick is not really reality in terms of production.

16 minutes ago, DougDew said:

The question is, can we get by without a TY?  That's a legitimate question.  So far, when TY has been absent, the Colts struggle, but maybe that's what the Pittman and Campbell investments are supposed to alleviate. 

Only time will tell. If we look at averages, a #1 median is about 1100 yards, and the median of a #2 is about 700 yards. If TY plus another WR equal 1800 yards, will you be happy? Right now we are on pace for 4600+ yards. Pretty good start all things considered with injuries, and a QB new to the team/scheme. 

16 minutes ago, DougDew said:

While the other guys were talented, we signed them only because they were not good enough to be in the long term plans of the teams they left.  I don't think Ballard wants to use that FA method for key positions on a perpetual basis, and that's what the Pittman pick is supposed to stop.  Campbell was always more of a slot or a TY clone, not an X. 

Grant was a physical away from signing a 4 year deal with the Ravens, so not exactly a cast away. He was considered a #2 or #3 WR, which is what we were looking for. He was only 6-0, and was used at X, when should have been a slot. Rogers was the slot though. Anyway, total misuse of Grant IMO.

 

Funch was drafted to be a #1, but was more of a TE/WR hybrid (he played some TE in college) and ended up a #2 in Carolina. He wanted #1 money so he left. We were looking for a #2 and gave him #1 money on short term deal. He's now in an opt-out situation with the Packers.

 

In short, those guys weren't here because they weren't in other teams long term plans. One was a physical away from a 4 year deal, the other wanted out to get more money. 

 

Campbell was likely seen as the successor to Z when drafted if you read into what Reich has said about working him outside. He was never though of as an X. 

16 minutes ago, DougDew said:

 

IMO, Ballard has seen the need for having proper talent at the skilled positions by drafting a slot and an X with second round picks.  Thankfully, a Colts GM finally pulled those triggers, now we just need Campbell to live up to his investment.

 

Hard to put a lot of faith in Campbell now that he's pretty much out for the 2nd straight year. If anything, I think you're going to see perhaps someone like Fountain or Dulin emerge. If PC heals, comes back, and stays healthy, all the better, but not counting on it.

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8 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

I’ve been asked why I’m here before, and happy to answer the question.

 

I like the franchise.   I like the owner, the GM, the head coach.   I even like some of the fan base.  Even the city of Indianapolis.  
 

And let’s get real here....   I didn’t “lash out” here in this thread.   Not even a little.  I respectfully disagreed and said so.   If you’d like to end this,  consider it done. 

Done from me after this:

 

Your comment about me "second guessing Ballard since he got here" is an expression a person would use to criticize another for harboring some sort of bias to perpetually criticize Ballard as standard operating procedure, instead of looking at individual decisions on their own merits.  You probably think it goes back to a Grigson thing or something.  Constantly swooping in to make comments about me in various threads in various ways with that thinking is not even close to being respectful.

 

As you do with others.

 

But my piecemeal second guessing of Ballard over the years is different from others' piecemeal second guessing.  You're right in that respect, it started almost when he got here.  Not because of some bias or love for the previous guy, but because objective analysis at the time led me conclude that his very first pick was stupid. 

 

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2 hours ago, EastStreet said:

 

Overall, Ballard has put in the effort with FA and draft capital. Just had some really bad luck with injury, so I don't see him changing his strategy when it comes to the position. 

 

In Ballard's 4 years at pass-catcher, he's drafted two 2nds, one 5th, and 2 6ths, and a pass catching APB in the 4th. At the same time he signed FAs like Funchess, Ebron, and Grant. Grant didn't pan out, but at the time teams were after him. The Ravens were close to signing him to a 4 year deal. I still don't understand how he could flunk their physical and pass ours. Even if you discard the 5th and 6ths, that's 5 legit attempts at WR and TE in 4 years. I would call that effort.


I will disagree...at least that it’s been a full effort over the long haul...instead of a more recent effort. 

 

At WR...those two 2nd round picks were in years 3-4 of his roster building. He drafted SEVEN other players/positions in the 2nd round (alone) before he used one on a pass catcher...SEVEN...when this team had nobody beyond Hilton at WR. He even passed on AJ Brown and Deebo Samuel to draft some project DE who is currently buried on the depth chart. 
 

Before he drafted Campbell,

his first attempt was to draft two late-round lotto ticket WRs to develop...a very low % type of move that rarely works at the WR position. 
 

And he had to know he was depriorotizing the WR position and that those late round WRs were risky to rely on...so to try to help offset that...he signed middling FA WRs to one-year FA contracts...to hopefully catch lighting in a bottle and patch a hole on the roster. But a stopgap measure exists in part because you aren’t willing or able to fully invest in that position yet...aka it’s a half measure (some might even say half *). Ballard did that 3 years in a row.

 

At TE...there’s been far less. Despite coming from an organization that drafted and developed an elite TE...and seeing that impact firsthand...he has drafted ZERO TEs across 38 draft picks...and instead has focused on UDFAs and stopgap FAs. He did hit with Ebron for one year...but again...that was a stopgap signing. Then this past offseason...with Ebron leaving...he throws a vet min contract at a broken down Trey Burton. The fact that the average age of the Colts TE depth chart was like 29 this year (before Burton got hurt and they added the UDFA)...speaks to how much effort has been put into drafting and developing young TEs over the past few years.

 

At RB...he did draft an APB in Hines...but that was an early Day 3 pick.  Until Taylor...all of the RB picks were Day 3 picks.
 

I know that’s a harsh critique...and I am not trying to disparage Ballard for his roster building. But looking at it objectively...there has clearly been far more effort given to other positions until recently.

 

Going forward...I don’t think we will see a WR taken in the 1st round...but Day Two pass catchers hopefully are the norm. 
 

 

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24 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Done from me after this:

 

Your comment about me "second guessing Ballard since he got here" is an expression a person would use to criticize another for harboring some sort of bias to perpetually criticize Ballard as standard operating procedure, instead of looking at individual decisions on their own merits.  You probably think it goes back to a Grigson thing or something.  Constantly swooping in to make comments about me in various threads in various ways with that thinking is not even close to being respectful.

 

As you do with others.

 

But my piecemeal second guessing of Ballard over the years is different from others' piecemeal second guessing.  You're right in that respect, it started almost when he got here.  Not because of some bias or love for the previous guy, but because objective analysis at the time led me conclude that his very first pick was stupid. 

 

A question, and this isn’t to start anything, I’m genuinely curious: what are your thoughts of Ballard on a macro level? We’ve had him for a while now, so he has a decent body of work to judge from. I know you usually analyze specific transactions...

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1 hour ago, EastStreet said:

Let's look at the top 10 guys receiving last year.

1. Michael Thomas - he's a big (6-3) drafted in the 2nd, and runs a mediocre 4.57

2. Julio Jones - he's one of the rare 6-3 super fast elite guys (4.34) drafted in the 1st.

3. Chris Godwin - 3rd rounder with mediocre size (6-1) and good speed 4.42

4. DeVante Parker - another elite speed (4.4s) and size 6-3 guy taken in the first

5. Keenan Allen - 3rd rounder with OK size (6-2)  and mediocre speed

6. Kenny Golladay - 3rd rounder with almost identical size and speed to Pittman.

7. Amari Cooper - 1st rounder with OK size (6-1) and good speed (4.4s)

8. DJ Moore - 1st rounder with meh size (6-0) and good speed (4.4s)

9. Jarvis Landry - Second rounder with meh size (5-11) and meh speed

10. Deandre Hopkins - 1st rounder with ok size and meh speed. 

 

So to summarize

Five 1st rounders, and five 2nd and 3rd rounders. 

Four of the top 6 were 2nd or 3rd rounders

Four of the top 6 were 6-3 or above

 

So it's not an unreal expectation to think that Pittman can be a top 10 guy, a #1 WR for us, or take TY's place as our bell cow WR.

 

If you look past the to top 10 for another 20-30, you'll see a lot of non-1st round speed guys getting 900-1200 yards. You'll also see a few TEs and RBs appear throughout.

 

Just saying, you're fixation on a first round pick is not really reality in terms of production.

Only time will tell. If we look at averages, a #1 median is about 1100 yards, and the median of a #2 is about 700 yards. If TY plus another WR equal 1800 yards, will you be happy? Right now we are on pace for 4600+ yards. Pretty good start all things considered with injuries, and a QB new to the team/scheme. 

Grant was a physical away from signing a 4 year deal with the Ravens, so not exactly a cast away. He was considered a #2 or #3 WR, which is what we were looking for. He was only 6-0, and was used at X, when should have been a slot. Rogers was the slot though. Anyway, total misuse of Grant IMO.

 

Funch was drafted to be a #1, but was more of a TE/WR hybrid (he played some TE in college) and ended up a #2 in Carolina. He wanted #1 money so he left. We were looking for a #2 and gave him #1 money on short term deal. He's now in an opt-out situation with the Packers.

 

In short, those guys weren't here because they weren't in other teams long term plans. One was a physical away from a 4 year deal, the other wanted out to get more money. 

 

Campbell was likely seen as the successor to Z when drafted if you read into what Reich has said about working him outside. He was never though of as an X. 

 

Hard to put a lot of faith in Campbell now that he's pretty much out for the 2nd straight year. If anything, I think you're going to see perhaps someone like Fountain or Dulin emerge. If PC heals, comes back, and stays healthy, all the better, but not counting on it.

Trying to keep it short.   I'm looking at the situation as allocating blocks of capital in the ensuing years and making sure we have a blocks to invest where we need.  All of those examples you've given are true, but finding players like that involves availability, and the farther you move away from the first round the more you are at the mercy of how the draft falls and of things beyond your control.  In terms of planning, I simply think that if we think of Pittman as #2 (drafted at 41) and Campbell as #3 (drafted lower), then to get a #1 WR will take a higher draft pick.  But it could work out like you say.

 

We could also draft a LT later to play behind AC, then start after he develops.  And do the same with DE behind Houston.  I'm sure you can find many successful LTs and DEs and #1WRs throughout the NFL that fit that pattern.  But to say that we are going to plan to find guys later in the draft to develop into what would be a 1st round pick quality player is risky, and I think we need more sure things at those positions. 

 

Having said that, I think LT is definitely 1st round capital allocation because he plays every down and tends to be on an island.  Success at the other two positions can be schemed a bit, or their success depends more upon how well other players play. 

 

A man CB plays on an island and deserves a high capital investment.  A zone corner is more schemed so a lower investment is appropriate.

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54 minutes ago, RollerColt said:

A question, and this isn’t to start anything, I’m genuinely curious: what are your thoughts of Ballard on a macro level? We’ve had him for a while now, so he has a decent body of work to judge from. I know you usually analyze specific transactions...

Very good.  Glad we have him.  Might end up being better than Polian. 

 

Just to use an example, Polian struck me as being in love with his picks, thinking they were better players, which led to him overpaying to keep them.  Ballard seems to see his picks with more objectivity so he's willing to make the appropriate contract offer when its time.

 

There isn't much to second guess.  He's made his share of head scratchers like RG and BP did, but I think he's better at adding talent to make up for the decisions that haven't worked out.

 

And I'm not someone who thinks that firing top management after a few years of underachievement is appropriate.  I like stability.  Especially with someone who is doing this for the first time, they need time to learn from their mistakes.  So even if he struggles to rebuild the Colts along the quick timeline most fans have, I expect him to be here a long time.

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3 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Trying to keep it short.   I'm looking at the situation as allocating blocks of capital in the ensuing years and making sure we have a blocks to invest where we need.  All of those examples you've given are true, but finding players like that involves availability, and the farther you move away from the first round the more you are at the mercy of how the draft falls and of things beyond your control.  In terms of planning, I simply think that if we think of Pittman as #2 (drafted at 41) and Campbell as #3 (drafted lower), then to get a #1 WR will take a higher draft pick.  But it could work out like you say.

 

We could also draft a LT later to play behind AC, then start after he develops.  And do the same with DE behind Houston.  I'm sure you can find many successful LTs and DEs and #1WRs throughout the NFL that fit that pattern.  But to say that we are going to plan to find guys later in the draft to develop into what would be a 1st round pick quality player is risky, and I think we need more sure things at those positions. 

 

Having said that, I think LT is definitely 1st round capital allocation because he plays every down and tends to be on an island.  Success at the other two positions can be schemed a bit, or their success depends more upon how well other players play. 


A LT will most certainly be chosen early and very soon. It’s the only sustainable way to keep the big 3 of the OL intact. Right now, the Colts are 3rd in cap spending on OL...and neither Smith or Nelson has been paid yet. Yes...AC will come off the books in a year or so...but Kelly, Nelson and Smith will cost $45-50M on their own...and that’s only if Nelson signs a somewhat reasonable deal. After that...you have LT, RG and depth to pay. The OL could easily take up 1/3 or more of the cap space spent each year. 
 

Not saying that is a bad thing...but if the Colts are going to spend what it takes to maintain an elite OL...then the offense should be the identity...and there will have to be a continued focus on getting young offensive talent to maximize it. But they won’t be able to buy it...so it will have to come via the draft.
 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, shasta519 said:


A LT will most certainly be chosen early and very soon. It’s the only sustainable way to keep the big 3 of the OL intact. Right now, the Colts are 3rd in cap spending on OL...and neither Smith or Nelson has been paid yet. Yes...AC will come off the books in a year or so...but Kelly, Nelson and Smith will cost $45-50M on their own...and that’s only if Nelson signs a somewhat reasonable deal. After that...you have LT, RG and depth to pay. The OL could easily take up 1/3 or more of the cap space spent each year. 
 

Not saying that is a bad thing...but if the Colts are going to spend what it takes to maintain an elite OL...then the offense should be the identity...and there will have to be a continued focus on getting young offensive talent to maximize it. But they won’t be able to buy it...so it will have to come via the draft.
 

 

 

Agreed.  There is slight complication with having a 3rd of your cap being in the oline and then being forced to have the offense be the identity of the team.  If your O is your identity, you need a QB, and they aren't cheap either.

 

Not a criticism, but an observation.  Picking Nelson at 6 sort of dictates what you have to have your team look like, which then dictates what you can and can't do in the future.

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34 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Trying to keep it short.   I'm looking at the situation as allocating blocks of capital in the ensuing years and making sure we have a blocks to invest where we need.  All of those examples you've given are true, but finding players like that involves availability, and the farther you move away from the first round the more you are at the mercy of how the draft falls and of things beyond your control.  In terms of planning, I simply think that if we think of Pittman as #2 (drafted at 41) and Campbell as #3 (drafted lower), then to get a #1 WR will take a higher draft pick.  But it could work out like you say.

 

We could also draft a LT later to play behind AC, then start after he develops.  And do the same with DE behind Houston.  I'm sure you can find many successful LTs and DEs and #1WRs throughout the NFL that fit that pattern.  But to say that we are going to plan to find guys later in the draft to develop into what would be a 1st round pick quality player is risky, and I think we need more sure things at those positions. 

 

Having said that, I think LT is definitely 1st round capital allocation because he plays every down and tends to be on an island.  Success at the other two positions can be schemed a bit, or their success depends more upon how well other players play. 

 

A man CB plays on an island and deserves a high capital investment.  A zone corner is more schemed so a lower investment is appropriate.

The point is, there is just as many non-first round WRs in the top 10, or top 32, than 1st rounders. Since college football turned into a passing sport, there are just so many more potential prospects. And the fact that schools use 3 WRs sets mostly these days add to availability. 

 

I'm OK with a 2nd round LT, but you have to do that this coming draft. If you wait till AC is gone, it would need to be a 1st rounder (maybe a very early 2nd rounder), or a FA. Having Nelson on the left side allows for a bit margin.

 

At DE, I'm tired of 2nd and 3rd round DE projects. We've had 4 of those in 4 years. I really don't count Lewis as a DE, but that's what he was tagged as. He's a tweener that's more 3T to me.

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1 hour ago, shasta519 said:


I will disagree...at least that it’s been a full effort over the long haul...instead of a more recent effort. 

 

At WR...those two 2nd round picks were in years 3-4 of his roster building. He drafted SEVEN other players/positions in the 2nd round (alone) before he used one on a pass catcher...SEVEN...when this team had nobody beyond Hilton at WR. He even passed on AJ Brown and Deebo Samuel to draft some project DE who is currently buried on the depth chart. 

You have to remember that we were 6th in passing O in 2018 and 5th in 2016. With Luck as QB, we didn't have a problem in the passing O space. We did have major problems in other areas. And we brought in Grant in year 2, who was thought to be rising after a good 2017, and was assumed to be a #2, or at min #3. I didn't like the move, but understand it. What I didn't understand was using him as an X.

1 hour ago, shasta519 said:

Before he drafted Campbell,

his first attempt was to draft two late-round lotto ticket WRs to develop...a very low % type of move that rarely works at the WR position. 

Actually, if you look at AV, you get good return on 3rd, 4th, and 5th round WRs. I agree beyond that is a lottery, but there are several examples like Antonio Brown out there.

1 hour ago, shasta519 said:

And he had to know he was depriorotizing the WR position and that those late round WRs were risky to rely on...so to try to help offset that...he signed middling FA WRs to one-year FA contracts...to hopefully catch lighting in a bottle and patch a hole on the roster. But a stopgap measure exists in part because you aren’t willing or able to fully invest in that position yet...aka it’s a half measure (some might even say half *). Ballard did that 3 years in a row.

 

At TE...there’s been far less. Despite coming from an organization that drafted and developed an elite TE...and seeing that impact firsthand...he has drafted ZERO TEs across 38 draft picks...and instead has focused on UDFAs and stopgap FAs. He did hit with Ebron for one year...but again...that was a stopgap signing. Then this past offseason...with Ebron leaving...he throws a vet min contract at a broken down Trey Burton. The fact that the average age of the Colts TE depth chart was like 29 this year (before Burton got hurt and they added the UDFA)...speaks to how much effort has been put into drafting and developing young TEs over the past few years.

Doyle was PB in 17 and 19. We don't run a lot of 2 TE sets, so using a high pick on TE wouldn't make sense with all the other holes we had. Adding Ebron was gravy on top.

1 hour ago, shasta519 said:

At RB...he did draft an APB in Hines...but that was an early Day 3 pick.  Until Taylor...all of the RB picks were Day 3 picks.
 

I know that’s a harsh critique...and I am not trying to disparage Ballard for his roster building. But looking at it objectively...there has clearly been far more effort given to other positions until recently.

 

Going forward...I don’t think we will see a WR taken in the 1st round...but Day Two pass catchers hopefully are the norm. 

You don't draft APBs early, unless they are McCaffery type guys, and there simply aren't very many of those in a decade. 

 

Overall, it seems like you want studs at every position. That's just not reality. You really need to look at the roster Ballard inherited. WR and TE simply weren't near top of the list. Both lines were horrible, and it's just silly to invest in big dollar skill players before fixing the foundation when we're already top 10 in passing. 

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3 hours ago, DougDew said:

Done from me after this:

 

Your comment about me "second guessing Ballard since he got here" is an expression a person would use to criticize another for harboring some sort of bias to perpetually criticize Ballard as standard operating procedure, instead of looking at individual decisions on their own merits.  You probably think it goes back to a Grigson thing or something.  Constantly swooping in to make comments about me in various threads in various ways with that thinking is not even close to being respectful.

 

As you do with others.

 

But my piecemeal second guessing of Ballard over the years is different from others' piecemeal second guessing.  You're right in that respect, it started almost when he got here.  Not because of some bias or love for the previous guy, but because objective analysis at the time led me conclude that his very first pick was stupid. 

 

Thank you again for proving my point.

 

Good luck to you.

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3 hours ago, DougDew said:

Very good.  Glad we have him.  Might end up being better than Polian. 

 

Just to use an example, Polian struck me as being in love with his picks, thinking they were better players, which led to him overpaying to keep them.  Ballard seems to see his picks with more objectivity so he's willing to make the appropriate contract offer when its time.

 

There isn't much to second guess.  He's made his share of head scratchers like RG and BP did, but I think he's better at adding talent to make up for the decisions that haven't worked out.

 

And I'm not someone who thinks that firing top management after a few years of underachievement is appropriate.  I like stability.  Especially with someone who is doing this for the first time, they need time to learn from their mistakes.  So even if he struggles to rebuild the Colts along the quick timeline most fans have, I expect him to be here a long time.

Thanks Doug, that’s fair and reasonable. 

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