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Ballard Top 10 Best and Worst Decisions


John Hammonds
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Top 10 Best Ballard Decisions

  1. Darius Leonard - He reached down to lowly South Carolina State and plucked out a LB that nobody had heard of, and was soundly thrashed for it in the sporting media.  Multiple pro bowls.  All pro.  Heart and soul of the entire team, not just the defense.
  2. Jonathan Taylor - Traded up with Cleveland in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, even though he already had RB's that he liked, to take what could possibly be a hall of fame running back.
  3. Kenny Moore - Ballard listened to excellent advice, and acquired this free agent from the Patriots discard pile.  One of his all-time best decisions.
  4. Braden Smith - How often do you draft a guard in the 2nd round, and he turns out to be a solid right tackle?
  5. Quenton Nelson - It will be debated forever whether or not it is wise to draft a guard with the 6th overall pick.  But you cannot doubt the talent, accolades, and eventual hall of fame status.
  6. DeForest Buckner - Ballard traded the 13th overall pick straight up for Buckner.  We were projected to take DT Javon Kinlaw.  Insane physical skills, but had a lot to learn.  CB threw a strike.
  7. Mark Glowinski - Call it luck.  Call it skill.  But Glow had been released by the Seahawks, and Ballard picked him up.  Great acquisition.
  8. Michael Pittman - No, he's not top echelon.  But he's a big target that catches nearly all contested balls, and got his 1,000 yards in his second season.
  9. Xavier Rhodes - The Vikings thought X's best days were behind him.  That was probably true.  But he still had some good years left.  And we needed corner help badly.
  10. Rigoberto Sanchez - Former soccer player from Hawaii.  Great distance.  Great hang time.  Great placement.  Did I mention great?

 

Top 10 Worst Ballard Decisions

  1. Ben Banogu - DE out of TCU.  Ballard said they were going to turn him into a Sam LB.  Didn't work.  Back to DE.  Didn't work.  Drafted 2 spots before pro bowl WR A.J. Brown.  While Banogu has spent the better part of 2 years as a healthy scratch.
  2. Quincy Wilson - 2nd round pick of the infamous 2017 draft.  Had the size and length.  But not the skill nor desire to play in this scheme.  Went to the Jets, and was a bust there, too.
  3. Parris Campbell - True, you can't always fault a player because they got injured when they didn't have a history of injury.  But he was a speedy gimmick player at OSU, who never claimed a full-time outside WR position.  He had "risk" written all over him.
  4. Eric Fisher - We desperately needed a replacement for Constanzo.  Brought in Fisher, who was iffy with an ACL.  Never worked out.  Expensive mistake that will be hard to recover from.
  5. Adam Vinatieri - The signs were there to see.  He was losing his edge, and needed to be replaced.  But we were gonna be nice guys, and let the hall of famer play as long as he desired to play.  Cost us multiple games, and a potential playoff spot.  Need to pull the trigger when you see the signs.
  6. Malik Hooker - Again, you can't always fault a player because they got injured.  But you still have to acknowledge that he was a 1st round pick, 17th overall, that never shined for you.
  7. Denico Autry - He wanted to stay, but wanted a longer term contract.  We wanted to sign him, but not to his demands.  We moved on.  And he got 9 sacks for a division rival.  Ouch.
  8. Devin Funchess - To be fair, he wasn't really working out for the Panthers.  But Reich wanted him.  So we got him.  And he got hurt immediately.  One game.  Three receptions.  32 yards.  And he was gone the following year.
  9. Dayo Odiengbo - The jury is still out on this one.  But you have to question drafting a guy who was injured, would play very little, if he played at all.  Crossing your fingers he would be something in the future.  When you had TE Pat Freiermuth right there.  Steelers took him with the next pick.  60 rec for 497 yards and 7 TD's.  Facepalm.
  10. Carson Wentz - Struggled to put this in the top 10.  Carson did make good plays this year.  And did improve on some things over the statuesque Rivers.  But you cannot overlook his low accuracy, low average per attempt, and his tendency to go all Sandlot Mode, which often as not resulted in calamity rather than success.
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Disagree with 3, 6, 9 and 10.

 

You cannot fault a GM for injuries to an otherwise worthy player. Campbell has shown flashes when healthy so the talent is there. Hooker was quietly pretty darn good for us. While on the field teams simply didn't throw deep very often. His presence was felt. Unlike this year with our makeshift safety group that got challenged a lot.

 

Dayo showed a little as a rookie coming off an injury. He will be a huge part of the rotation next year. Darn near every draft pundit thought he was a 1st/2nd round pick (minus) the injury - the jury is still out though.

 

Carson had the 30th ranked pass blocking oline and was hit A LOT. He didn't miss any games even though EVERYONE said he was injury prone. He ran for his life most games and had no time to survey the field. That is not him, that is the blockers in front of him and receivers not able to get themselves open.

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Instead of Devin Funchess, I would replace with letting go of Justin Houston too. Campbell came from a good school and conference without injury history, so did Malik Hooker. Just our Buckeye luck. :( 

 

There is a reason Polian drafted athletic players WITH college production and/or good conferences so that we did not end up with someone like Banogu. For what it is worth, if the competition is not as tough in a lesser conference, Polian drafted them on Day 3. Case in point - Robert Mathis and Antoine Bethea who were great system fits but Polian waited to get them. Banogu would have been drafted on Day 3 by Polian, I am certain. Might say the same with Turay as well with injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons.

 

When Ballard invested in guys from good conferences and/or good college production, Pittman and JT, good things typically happened. Darius Leonard was rated a Day 2 guy (rounds 2-3) but his production was off the charts in the MEAC conference, he may not have lasted to us if he got the scholarship at Clemson like he wanted, IMO. Braden Smith played in a very good conference at Auburn as well. 

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Im not going to make a list but ill just say I think trading a 1st and 3rd for Wentz is easily his #1 biggest mistake to date. I know a lot of people are still wearing their blue shaded sunglasses and think he will turn it around and be good for the organization.

 

Blame the Oline, blame lack of weapons, blame anything your want. But all the signs were there in Philly that he was broken and washed. They moved on to an equally mediocre quarterback just to be rid of the guy. Frank was suppose to be his savior and "fix" him.

 

Going into 2022 this will be his 7th season, he has had 1 good year. We know who he his. Theres no fixing him. He is not going to miraculously change. In fact he might not even be on the Colts roster come 2022. Just my opinion though.

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31 minutes ago, John Hammonds said:

Top 10 Best Ballard Decisions

  1. Darius Leonard - He reached down to lowly South Carolina State and plucked out a LB that nobody had heard of, and was soundly thrashed for it in the sporting media.  Multiple pro bowls.  All pro.  Heart and soul of the entire team, not just the defense.
  2. Jonathan Taylor - Traded up with Cleveland in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, even though he already had RB's that he liked, to take what could possibly be a hall of fame running back.
  3. Kenny Moore - Ballard listened to excellent advice, and acquired this free agent from the Patriots discard pile.  One of his all-time best decisions.
  4. Braden Smith - How often do you draft a guard in the 2nd round, and he turns out to be a solid right tackle?
  5. Quenton Nelson - It will be debated forever whether or not it is wise to draft a guard with the 6th overall pick.  But you cannot doubt the talent, accolades, and eventual hall of fame status.
  6. DeForest Buckner - Ballard traded the 13th overall pick straight up for Buckner.  We were projected to take DT Javon Kinlaw.  Insane physical skills, but had a lot to learn.  CB threw a strike.
  7. Mark Glowinski - Call it luck.  Call it skill.  But Glow had been released by the Seahawks, and Ballard picked him up.  Great acquisition.
  8. Michael Pittman - No, he's not top echelon.  But he's a big target that catches nearly all contested balls, and got his 1,000 yards in his second season.
  9. Xavier Rhodes - The Vikings thought X's best days were behind him.  That was probably true.  But he still had some good years left.  And we needed corner help badly.
  10. Rigoberto Sanchez - Former soccer player from Hawaii.  Great distance.  Great hang time.  Great placement.  Did I mention great?

 

Top 10 Worst Ballard Decisions

  1. Ben Banogu - DE out of TCU.  Ballard said they were going to turn him into a Sam LB.  Didn't work.  Back to DE.  Didn't work.  Drafted 2 spots before pro bowl WR A.J. Brown.  While Banogu has spent the better part of 2 years as a healthy scratch.
  2. Quincy Wilson - 2nd round pick of the infamous 2017 draft.  Had the size and length.  But not the skill nor desire to play in this scheme.  Went to the Jets, and was a bust there, too.
  3. Parris Campbell - True, you can't always fault a player because they got injured when they didn't have a history of injury.  But he was a speedy gimmick player at OSU, who never claimed a full-time outside WR position.  He had "risk" written all over him.
  4. Eric Fisher - We desperately needed a replacement for Constanzo.  Brought in Fisher, who was iffy with an ACL.  Never worked out.  Expensive mistake that will be hard to recover from.
  5. Adam Vinatieri - The signs were there to see.  He was losing his edge, and needed to be replaced.  But we were gonna be nice guys, and let the hall of famer play as long as he desired to play.  Cost us multiple games, and a potential playoff spot.  Need to pull the trigger when you see the signs.
  6. Malik Hooker - Again, you can't always fault a player because they got injured.  But you still have to acknowledge that he was a 1st round pick, 17th overall, that never shined for you.
  7. Denico Autry - He wanted to stay, but wanted a longer term contract.  We wanted to sign him, but not to his demands.  We moved on.  And he got 9 sacks for a division rival.  Ouch.
  8. Devin Funchess - To be fair, he wasn't really working out for the Panthers.  But Reich wanted him.  So we got him.  And he got hurt immediately.  One game.  Three receptions.  32 yards.  And he was gone the following year.
  9. Dayo Odiengbo - The jury is still out on this one.  But you have to question drafting a guy who was injured, would play very little, if he played at all.  Crossing your fingers he would be something in the future.  When you had TE Pat Freiermuth right there.  Steelers took him with the next pick.  60 rec for 497 yards and 7 TD's.  Facepalm.
  10. Carson Wentz - Struggled to put this in the top 10.  Carson did make good plays this year.  And did improve on some things over the statuesque Rivers.  But you cannot overlook his low accuracy, low average per attempt, and his tendency to go all Sandlot Mode, which often as not resulted in calamity rather than success.

You forgot Blackman which was playing pro bowl level before the injury. 

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14 minutes ago, Nesjan3 said:

Im not going to make a list but ill just say I think trading a 1st and 3rd for Wentz is easily his #1 biggest mistake to date. I know a lot of people are still wearing their blue shaded sunglasses and think he will turn it around and be good for the organization.

 

Blame the Oline, blame lack of weapons, blame anything your want. But all the signs were there in Philly that he was broken and washed. They moved on to an equally mediocre quarterback just to be rid of the guy. Frank was suppose to be his savior and "fix" him.

 

Going into 2022 this will be his 7th season, he has had 1 good year. We know who he his. Theres no fixing him. He is not going to miraculously change. In fact he might not even be on the Colts roster come 2022. Just my opinion though.

I agree Wentz will never turn into anything and I think Ballard knows it but will there be anything better available? There a lot of question marks but will there be any answers this off season.  Probably not any that any of us want. 

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The Wentz trade was easily his worst decision. GMs that aren't as good as him could get fired for that decision alone. I would replace Xavier with Rock or Isaiah Rodgers in the best decisions at 9. Both are good members of the CB group as draft picks, and Xavier only had the one great year with us and he fell off this year. 

 

Another bad decision was letting Nick Sirianni go to the Eagles. I realize you usually aren't supposed to "stop" interviews that promote coordinators, but Marcus Brady is a clear downgrade, and I'm sure Ballard knew how good Nick was. Mike Groh is pretty awful as well, as only Pittman had over 400 yards for any of our WRs. 

 

The worst overall decision Ballard has made is probably missing on or avoiding the premium positions like QB, WR, EDGE, and CB. QB we signed band-aids and traded for Wentz instead of drafting a QB, WR we have one quality guy in 5 years from Ballard, EDGE we missed on multiple 2nd round picks before drafting Paye and Dayo who are tbd, and although we have some good CBs, we still don't have a true shutdown corner and we never addressed the position in the 1st round. Closest thing we did was sign Rhodes and got one elite year out of him.

 

Ballard's best decision may of been the scouts he brought here. Ed Dodds, Morocco Brown, Brian Decker, and others. That have been vital in getting us the players here that have done well on the Colts. I just pray we don't lose them this year.

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Lots of memory recall involved.  I'm not sure that I'm up to the task.

 

Best.

 

Firing Chuck Pagano

Hiring Frank Reich

Hiring Matt Elberflus

Drafting Braden Smith

Drafting Michael Pittman

Drafting JT

Signing Danico Autry at the time

Drafting Leonard to play WILL

Trading for Carson Wentz

Signing our RT to a big extension.

 

Worst

 

Offering Josh McDaniels a job

Drafting Malik Hooker when there were so many glaring holes and future holes

Signing JB to an extension and handing him the starting job.

His decisions in the 2019 draft.  Passing on Sweat, DK, AJ Brown, and getting RYS, Parris, and Ben

Signing Jonathan Hankins

Ignoring the left tackle position as AC was getting older.

The 2017 draft in total.

Signing a WILL to a $60M extension.

Thinking that Gs matter a lot more than they do.

I'm saving #10 as a future $70M extension for a G.

 

 

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Among his worst decisions:

  • Tarell Basham (3rd round, 2017 - 16 games, 2 sacks)
  • Tyquan Lewis (2nd round, 2018 - 41 games, 8.5 sacks)
  • Kemoko Turay (2nd round, 2018 - 38 games, 12 sacks)
  • Ben Banogu (2nd round, 2019 - 34 games, 2.5 sacks)
  • Malik Hooker - Was just average
  • Letting Denico Autry and Justin Houston go
  • Failure to address LT position
  • The whole Wentz deal
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40 minutes ago, Four2itus said:

I put the hiring of Frank R. easily in the top 6. He is the strength in the current Colts culture. 

Without Luck or Rivers. Frank has regressed every year from Wentzs rookie year. He is vanilla and predictable and pass happy under pressure...He also made the choice to switch Oline coaches which lead to an obvious regression in our pass blocking...He lost the Totans and Ravens game by abandoning the run with leads...and stuck with Vinny and cost us games the year before...I don't trust FR at all. 

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He’s definitely had some misses but generally he has improved the team each year! 
 

Ballard isn’t as stubborn as the media is making out.

 

But t in all honesty if he doesn’t address the QB by the end of the next draft all his shtick will have reached its limit. 
 

Go Colts.

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1 hour ago, superrep1967 said:

You forgot Blackman which was playing pro bowl level before the injury. 

 

This year? He had a 123.6 passer rating against and a 12% missed tackle rate. PFF had him at 60.4.

 

He was on his way to a Rock-like second season.

 

Hopefully, he can come back from the injury and take a big step going forward.

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42 minutes ago, BlackTiger said:

Trading for Carson was the worst.  a first, third and 40+ million is too much commitment to a guy who isnt good enough to take us anywhere

 

we might be stuck going nowhere with wentz 

 

Agree. And we are currently in the middle of this decision, so we don't even know the full impact it will have. And it's still #1 on this list.

 

But perhaps right after drafting Leonard, will be Ballard's next move to get out of it.

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1 hour ago, Scott Pennock said:

Disagree with 3, 6, 9 and 10.

 

You cannot fault a GM for injuries to an otherwise worthy player. Campbell has shown flashes when healthy so the talent is there. Hooker was quietly pretty darn good for us. While on the field teams simply didn't throw deep very often. His presence was felt. Unlike this year with our makeshift safety group that got challenged a lot.

 

Dayo showed a little as a rookie coming off an injury. He will be a huge part of the rotation next year. Darn near every draft pundit thought he was a 1st/2nd round pick (minus) the injury - the jury is still out though.

 

Carson had the 30th ranked pass blocking oline and was hit A LOT. He didn't miss any games even though EVERYONE said he was injury prone. He ran for his life most games and had no time to survey the field. That is not him, that is the blockers in front of him and receivers not able to get themselves open.

 

I am going to disagree re: Campbell.

 

You definitely fault this org/Ballard/Reich (all of them) for the Campbell pick. They picked Campbell over Metcalf and McLaurin. And this was after picking Banogu over AJ Brown...after picking Rock over Deebo. Out of an incredibly loaded group of WRs, they prioritized other players and were fine taking Campbell, either because they liked him more OR were fine ending up with him instead. Major whiff.

 

And what made Campbell worthy (of a 2nd round pick)? Because he's fast? He has played a season's worth of games (15 games) in three years and has put up 24 yds/game. That's what Pascal did this year...and many fans want him gone. In Campbell's first year, he literally fumbled 1 out of every 7 touches (I still remember him falling down against PIT). 

 

Put it this way...has Denzel Mims been a worthy player so far? Drafted at the exact spot (#59), has missed numerous games due to injury and has put up very similar per game stats when he has played (with poor QB play). I bet you won't find one Colts fan who aren't relieved we passed on him or consider him worthy.

 

 

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Easily the worst move is hiring McDaniels.  Anytime your handpicked coach just straight quits on you....Bad Decision!!  His QB also quit on him too. Not his fault but definitely his responsibility. Both of their replacements are viewed as controversial. 
 

I honestly don’t see Dayo being much of a player beyond depth. So will group all his 2nd round DEs together as his #2 worst move. This could also be #1 Bc the amount of capitol spent on the DL and it is average at best is astonishing. (Lewis almost was the exception but I doubt he will return to form on this team and produce). 
 

Malik Hooker was a terrible pick.  Not bc of the injuries but bc there were other good players at valuable positions available.  
 

I put Carson Wentz on the positive side. Probably could leave him off either as well.  Not really sure how to judge him bc he won games and played thru injury while getting chased all year behind our terrible performing OL. 
 

The Braden Smith move has to be up there.  Excellent player all around. 
 

Obviously Leonard and Taylor are two of his best decisions 
 


 

 
 


 

 

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Banogu is one that’s hard to get over for me. That’s basically Ballard’s T.J. Green. That pick just never made sense and the fact that he was drafted right before A.J. Brown (who ended up going to a division rival) is a really tough blow, because there’s no way he should have been graded above a guy who has proven college production. 
 

In terms of mistakes he made that really hurt the team, when the smoke clears, the trade for Wentz will be one. Simply because it cost a 1st round pick that could have either been used to draft a QB or a player at one of the key positions we need to lockdown (WR, CB, and LT).

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5 hours ago, John Hammonds said:

Top 10 Best Ballard Decisions

  1. Darius Leonard - He reached down to lowly South Carolina State and plucked out a LB that nobody had heard of, and was soundly thrashed for it in the sporting media.  Multiple pro bowls.  All pro.  Heart and soul of the entire team, not just the defense.
  2. Jonathan Taylor - Traded up with Cleveland in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, even though he already had RB's that he liked, to take what could possibly be a hall of fame running back.
  3. Kenny Moore - Ballard listened to excellent advice, and acquired this free agent from the Patriots discard pile.  One of his all-time best decisions.
  4. Braden Smith - How often do you draft a guard in the 2nd round, and he turns out to be a solid right tackle?
  5. Quenton Nelson - It will be debated forever whether or not it is wise to draft a guard with the 6th overall pick.  But you cannot doubt the talent, accolades, and eventual hall of fame status.
  6. DeForest Buckner - Ballard traded the 13th overall pick straight up for Buckner.  We were projected to take DT Javon Kinlaw.  Insane physical skills, but had a lot to learn.  CB threw a strike.
  7. Mark Glowinski - Call it luck.  Call it skill.  But Glow had been released by the Seahawks, and Ballard picked him up.  Great acquisition.
  8. Michael Pittman - No, he's not top echelon.  But he's a big target that catches nearly all contested balls, and got his 1,000 yards in his second season.
  9. Xavier Rhodes - The Vikings thought X's best days were behind him.  That was probably true.  But he still had some good years left.  And we needed corner help badly.
  10. Rigoberto Sanchez - Former soccer player from Hawaii.  Great distance.  Great hang time.  Great placement.  Did I mention great?

 

Top 10 Worst Ballard Decisions

  1. Ben Banogu - DE out of TCU.  Ballard said they were going to turn him into a Sam LB.  Didn't work.  Back to DE.  Didn't work.  Drafted 2 spots before pro bowl WR A.J. Brown.  While Banogu has spent the better part of 2 years as a healthy scratch.
  2. Quincy Wilson - 2nd round pick of the infamous 2017 draft.  Had the size and length.  But not the skill nor desire to play in this scheme.  Went to the Jets, and was a bust there, too.
  3. Parris Campbell - True, you can't always fault a player because they got injured when they didn't have a history of injury.  But he was a speedy gimmick player at OSU, who never claimed a full-time outside WR position.  He had "risk" written all over him.
  4. Eric Fisher - We desperately needed a replacement for Constanzo.  Brought in Fisher, who was iffy with an ACL.  Never worked out.  Expensive mistake that will be hard to recover from.
  5. Adam Vinatieri - The signs were there to see.  He was losing his edge, and needed to be replaced.  But we were gonna be nice guys, and let the hall of famer play as long as he desired to play.  Cost us multiple games, and a potential playoff spot.  Need to pull the trigger when you see the signs.
  6. Malik Hooker - Again, you can't always fault a player because they got injured.  But you still have to acknowledge that he was a 1st round pick, 17th overall, that never shined for you.
  7. Denico Autry - He wanted to stay, but wanted a longer term contract.  We wanted to sign him, but not to his demands.  We moved on.  And he got 9 sacks for a division rival.  Ouch.
  8. Devin Funchess - To be fair, he wasn't really working out for the Panthers.  But Reich wanted him.  So we got him.  And he got hurt immediately.  One game.  Three receptions.  32 yards.  And he was gone the following year.
  9. Dayo Odiengbo - The jury is still out on this one.  But you have to question drafting a guy who was injured, would play very little, if he played at all.  Crossing your fingers he would be something in the future.  When you had TE Pat Freiermuth right there.  Steelers took him with the next pick.  60 rec for 497 yards and 7 TD's.  Facepalm.
  10. Carson Wentz - Struggled to put this in the top 10.  Carson did make good plays this year.  And did improve on some things over the statuesque Rivers.  But you cannot overlook his low accuracy, low average per attempt, and his tendency to go all Sandlot Mode, which often as not resulted in calamity rather than success.

when a gm mans the roster mainly with draft picks and low dollar free agents his first and second round picks should not be in the 10 worst decisions, this is a plan for a below average team

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3 hours ago, shasta519 said:

You definitely fault this org/Ballard/Reich (all of them) for the Campbell pick. They picked Campbell over Metcalf and McLaurin. And this was after picking Banogu over AJ Brown...after picking Rock over Deebo. Out of an incredibly loaded group of WRs, they prioritized other players and were fine taking Campbell, either because they liked him more OR were fine ending up with him instead. Major whiff.

This is bad.

 

First he traded pick 26 to WASH, Montez Sweat.  Then picked Rock at 34 over Deebo (36), Ben (49) over AJ Brown (51), then PC (59) over DK Metcalf (64) and Terry McLaurin (76).

 

These GMS say that they draft BPA when they CLEARLY draft for need. 

 

Ballard had just signed Funchess to a big one year contract (some say he overpaid at the time).  Funch is an X.  We had the Z in TY.  We needed a slot. 

 

Neither Deebo, DK, Brown, or McLaurin were considered slots.  Ballard passed over good long term X candidates and took a slot because he had the starter at X and Y on the roster. 

 

BPA and not need?  Crap.  

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3 hours ago, Four2itus said:

I'm curious as to what examples you might have. 

Pretty much any GM that got hired, took a QB in the top 10 in the draft, and got fired within 3 years would qualify IMO. That happens reasonably often IMO. Maybe once a year that scenario happens on Black Monday at the end of the year. Sometimes they get fired before 3 years.

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5 hours ago, TimetobringDfence! said:

Without Luck or Rivers. Frank has regressed every year from Wentzs rookie year. He is vanilla and predictable and pass happy under pressure...He also made the choice to switch Oline coaches which lead to an obvious regression in our pass blocking...He lost the Totans and Ravens game by abandoning the run with leads...and stuck with Vinny and cost us games the year before...I don't trust FR at all. 

New Colts Fan you dont think Frank gave Vinny to many opportunities to lose games the year before last. You don't rember him having CW throw 51 passes to JTs 16 carries(I believe 14 were in first half, and we had a lead going into 2nd half or it was a 1 score game and we only ran 2 times... He abandoned the run game like 3 or four times early in the season before he was getting ripped by the media and decided to prioritize Taylor...

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5 hours ago, shasta519 said:

You definitely fault this org/Ballard/Reich (all of them) for the Campbell pick. They picked Campbell over Metcalf and McLaurin. And this was after picking Banogu over AJ Brown...after picking Rock over Deebo. Out of an incredibly loaded group of WRs, they prioritized other players and were fine taking Campbell, either because they liked him more OR were fine ending up with him instead. Major whiff.

 

2 hours ago, DougDew said:

This is bad.

 

First he traded pick 26 to WASH, Montez Sweat.  Then picked Rock at 34 over Deebo (36), Ben (49) over AJ Brown (51), then PC (59) over DK Metcalf (64) and Terry McLaurin (76).

 

Neither Deebo, DK, Brown, or McLaurin were considered slots.  Ballard passed over good long term X candidates and took a slot because he had the starter at X and Y on the roster. 

 

BPA and not need?  Crap.  

Hindsight is such a beautiful thing isn't it

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2 minutes ago, tvturner said:

 

Hindsight is such a beautiful thing isn't it

I think most here who follow the drafts knew who Deebo, AJ Brown were more than they knew who RYS, Banogu, and Parris were.  So to some it doesn't seem like hindsight.  To them, it looks more like headscratching picks from day one that haven't panned out just as expected.  Like the Turay pick too.

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44 minutes ago, DougDew said:

I think most here who follow the drafts knew who Deebo, AJ Brown were more than they knew who RYS, Banogu, and Parris were.  So to some it doesn't seem like hindsight.  To them, it looks more like headscratching picks from day one that haven't panned out just as expected.  Like the Turay pick too.

Being a more popular prospect doesn't mean you're a better prospect

 

Acting like GMs know which prospects are gonna pan out is silly

 

 

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4 hours ago, DougDew said:

This is bad.

 

First he traded pick 26 to WASH, Montez Sweat.  Then picked Rock at 34 over Deebo (36), Ben (49) over AJ Brown (51), then PC (59) over DK Metcalf (64) and Terry McLaurin (76).

 

These GMS say that they draft BPA when they CLEARLY draft for need. 

 

Ballard had just signed Funchess to a big one year contract (some say he overpaid at the time).  Funch is an X.  We had the Z in TY.  We needed a slot. 

 

Neither Deebo, DK, Brown, or McLaurin were considered slots.  Ballard passed over good long term X candidates and took a slot because he had the starter at X and Y on the roster. 

 

BPA and not need?  Crap.  


Could you imagine if Ballard had taken Sweat and Deebo in that draft? 
 

Instead, they ended up with Banogu and Campbell at the same positions. 

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1 hour ago, tvturner said:

Being a more popular prospect doesn't mean you're a better prospect

 

Acting like GMs know which prospects are gonna pan out is silly

 

 


Except it’s part of his job description to know who the better prospects are. Or to at least be better than his peers at projecting them. 

 

In this case, he wasn’t. 
 

When Ballard drafts a D2 WILL who becomes an All-Pro LB, or a RG who makes an unforeseen and unplanned (yet seamless) transition to being a very good RT…he’s a genius. You never see people talk about “hindsight” in those cases. 


But when he misses on a few players, it’s bad luck or something that he couldn’t possibly have known at the time. And criticism is just “hindsight.”
 

There are good moves and there are bad moves. We can praise the good moves and be critical of the bad ones.

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I'm not going to rank my 10s, but I'll comment on yours :thmup:

 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:

Top 10 Best Ballard Decisions

  1. Darius Leonard - He reached down to lowly South Carolina State and plucked out a LB that nobody had heard of, and was soundly thrashed for it in the sporting media.  Multiple pro bowls.  All pro.  Heart and soul of the entire team, not just the defense.

Hard to argue this. I was either great scouting or great luck. Or both. Undersized a bit, that totally upped his game on the NFL level. And he was smart enough to realize his injury limited him in areas, and he needed to concentrate on technique and turnovers. Tough S O B that still was one of the best in the league against the run this year despite a less than great ankle. More than anything, love his attitude and personality. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Jonathan Taylor - Traded up with Cleveland in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, even though he already had RB's that he liked, to take what could possibly be a hall of fame running back.

I think Mack was considered gone when the pick was made, but loved the move. Taylor was a great prospect, and the only risk was scheme translation IMO. Great pick regardless. Will be interesting to see how he's treated when his contract is up. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Kenny Moore - Ballard listened to excellent advice, and acquired this free agent from the Patriots discard pile.  One of his all-time best decisions.

I love Kenny when he's limited to slot coverage. Picking NE's cast off DBs though is something a lot of GMs do. We need to do a better job of scheme at CB so Kenny can stay and focus on slot where he's one of the best. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Braden Smith - How often do you draft a guard in the 2nd round, and he turns out to be a solid right tackle?

I don't think he was picked to be a T at all. Maybe picked with some flex ability, but he was picked for G. You have to credit DeGuglielmo as the architect, who tried several combos in 2018 before settling on our beastly front 5. After week 5 or 6, we were set.  

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Quenton Nelson - It will be debated forever whether or not it is wise to draft a guard with the 6th overall pick.  But you cannot doubt the talent, accolades, and eventual hall of fame status.

Q is a beast, and I love ND players. Probably my favorite Colt. Only debatable area is if it's smart to build your OL around a G with at top 10 pick. 

 

And back to 2018, and DeGuglielmo, if we didn't have AC playing well at the time, Q could have ended up at T. Folks forget Q was considered one of the better T prospects going into college, and was a G only because of the T that was already starting at ND, and the T that committed to ND after Q was already killing it at G. 

 

Bold move overall to take a G at 6. I don't hate it, but understand the questions around it. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. DeForest Buckner - Ballard traded the 13th overall pick straight up for Buckner.  We were projected to take DT Javon Kinlaw.  Insane physical skills, but had a lot to learn.  CB threw a strike.

He a crazy great talent. Wasted a bit in our scheme. His stats would be much better playing for other teams with different schemes. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Mark Glowinski - Call it luck.  Call it skill.  But Glow had been released by the Seahawks, and Ballard picked him up.  Great acquisition.

A Seattle cast off, he's another you have to credit DeGuglielmo for some of his success. He's been our weak link for a few years, and fans like to diminish him, but he's one of the best weak links in the league, and has been very consistent in run blocking. And just had a career year. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Michael Pittman - No, he's not top echelon.  But he's a big target that catches nearly all contested balls, and got his 1,000 yards in his second season.

I don't think you could really go wrong with him (or Claypool) at the draft spot, but glad we grabbed him. We were X-less for way too long, and Pittman is a stud. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Xavier Rhodes - The Vikings thought X's best days were behind him.  That was probably true.  But he still had some good years left.  And we needed corner help badly.

Great get. Injuries aside this year, very solid FA pick up on the cheap. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Rigoberto Sanchez - Former soccer player from Hawaii.  Great distance.  Great hang time.  Great placement.  Did I mention great?

Kudos to RS, but kickers never excite me. lol.

 

I'd say some that should get consideration are RYS, who played a great second half rook year (top 10 CB), and had a very good year this season. Also Rodgers who was a later pick but has been a stud STer and great depth CB. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:

 

Top 10 Worst Ballard Decisions

  1. Ben Banogu - DE out of TCU.  Ballard said they were going to turn him into a Sam LB.  Didn't work.  Back to DE.  Didn't work.  Drafted 2 spots before pro bowl WR A.J. Brown.  While Banogu has spent the better part of 2 years as a healthy scratch.

Hard to argue with this. Came from a scheme that discounted technique and a lot of things, and was a plain stretch regardless of what position. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Quincy Wilson - 2nd round pick of the infamous 2017 draft.  Had the size and length.  But not the skill nor desire to play in this scheme.  Went to the Jets, and was a bust there, too.

While I agree he was a bust, most scouts got suckered into the one year Florida wonder. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Parris Campbell - True, you can't always fault a player because they got injured when they didn't have a history of injury.  But he was a speedy gimmick player at OSU, who never claimed a full-time outside WR position.  He had "risk" written all over him.

Disagree here. It has been all injury issues. There was not a lot injury risk in CFB. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Eric Fisher - We desperately needed a replacement for Constanzo.  Brought in Fisher, who was iffy with an ACL.  Never worked out.  Expensive mistake that will be hard to recover from.

Not overly expensive for a LT, but I think familiarity played too big of a part with a bad decision not to go with a much safer selection (Leno) who was even cheaper. But yes, bad decision, and I'd rank this higher than Wilson, and a lot higher than Campbell. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Adam Vinatieri - The signs were there to see.  He was losing his edge, and needed to be replaced.  But we were gonna be nice guys, and let the hall of famer play as long as he desired to play.  Cost us multiple games, and a potential playoff spot.  Need to pull the trigger when you see the signs.

Sure, held on too long. But he was a great.... I'd rank other things higher. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Malik Hooker - Again, you can't always fault a player because they got injured.  But you still have to acknowledge that he was a 1st round pick, 17th overall, that never shined for you.

Hooker was a good pick for C1 and C3. Not a good pick for C2, which we played mostly in his year two. Blame the scheme change and injury, not really the pick.

 

I'd actually rank letting him go higher than drafting him... lol. He graded 10ish points higher in Dallas this year, than our FS (Blackmon). And he was crazy cheap.

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Denico Autry - He wanted to stay, but wanted a longer term contract.  We wanted to sign him, but not to his demands.  We moved on.  And he got 9 sacks for a division rival.  Ouch.

We cheaped out. He went on to have a career year playing a  3-4 tweener roll, and out-stat'd our highly paid 3T and all our DEs.

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Devin Funchess - To be fair, he wasn't really working out for the Panthers.  But Reich wanted him.  So we got him.  And he got hurt immediately.  One game.  Three receptions.  32 yards.  And he was gone the following year.

Another injury situation, that I just have a hard time ranking... 

I think it was too much $, but they were trying to solve for X, which we didn't have for years. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Dayo Odiengbo - The jury is still out on this one.  But you have to question drafting a guy who was injured, would play very little, if he played at all.  Crossing your fingers he would be something in the future.  When you had TE Pat Freiermuth right there.  Steelers took him with the next pick.  60 rec for 497 yards and 7 TD's.  Facepalm.

There's so many more decisions I'd rank before this. Houston, Walker, being let go etc.. His whole DE draft history.... Musical chairs at QB for 4, maybe 5 years. 

10 hours ago, John Hammonds said:
  1. Carson Wentz - Struggled to put this in the top 10.  Carson did make good plays this year.  And did improve on some things over the statuesque Rivers.  But you cannot overlook his low accuracy, low average per attempt, and his tendency to go all Sandlot Mode, which often as not resulted in calamity rather than success.

This will be debated for a long time, but you can't diminish the poor OL play, and weak WR group. Only time will tell. 

 

One thing I'd add to the top 5 is the Josh McDaniel's fiasco. Ballard owns it one way or another. Then they hire someone that wasn't even in their first round interviews, and was likely 3rd at most on their 2nd round interviews. What went down was a cluster. Folks like to forget....  

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8 hours ago, EastStreet said:

One thing I'd add to the top 5 is the Josh McDaniel's fiasco. Ballard owns it one way or another. Then they hire someone that wasn't even in their first round interviews, and was likely 3rd at most on their 2nd round interviews. What went down was a cluster. Folks like to forget....  

Thanks for the props.  In fairness, I had 12 or 13 things on both lists, just to make sure I didn't see myself short.  Other good decisions were getting a started in Anthony Walker with a late pick, and Zaire Franklin with a 7th rounder, and he was a team captain this year.  Other bad decisions included an oft-injured Kemoko Turay and the blown draft choice of Terrell Basham.

 

If you want to know why CB is keeping his job, take a look at his picks in the top 50.  If you're going to be a good GM, you need to throw strikes with your top 50 picks.  Of our 10 picks since 2017, only 3 of them qualify as "bust" material.  The rest are good/solid picks.

 

2017 pick 15 - Malik Hooker

2017 pick 46 - Quincy Wilson

2018 pick 6 - Quenton Nelson (multi pro bowl, HOF)

2018 pick 36 - Darius Leonard (multi pro bowl)

2018 pick 37 - Braden Smith (solid starter)

2019 pick 34 - Rock Ya-Sin (starter)

2019 pick 49 - Kemoko Turay

2020 pick 34 - Michael Pittman (starter)

2020 pick 41 - Jonathan Taylor (pro bowl)

2021 pick 21 - Kwity Paye (starter)

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9 hours ago, shasta519 said:


Could you imagine if Ballard had taken Sweat and Deebo in that draft? 
 

Instead, they ended up with Banogu and Campbell at the same positions. 

Well, he could not have gotten both.  He traded out of 26 to land at 34, where he took RYS over Deebo.

There were plenty of people in the draft thread and pre-draft threads that were high on Deebo.  There was an understanding that Ballard wanted to steer clear of Sweat because of rumored health red flags, but the fact that Washington traded up for Sweat suggests that the rumors were subject to debate.

 

Nobody on the forum understood the Benagu pick over AJ Brown.  It was 90%...huh?  Hindsight isn't prevailing here.

 

Ballard could have gotten Sweat and AJ Brown if he stayed put.  Could have had McLaurin instead of Brown, or DK instead of Brown.  All three WRs instead of Ben.  

 

He wanted a corner and a slot WR because that was the need at the time.  He moved around and got them.

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3 minutes ago, John Hammonds said:

Thanks for the props.  In fairness, I had 12 or 13 things on both lists, just to make sure I didn't see myself short.  Other good decisions were getting a started in Anthony Walker with a late pick, and Zaire Franklin with a 7th rounder, and he was a team captain this year.  Other bad decisions included an oft-injured Kemoko Turay and the blown draft choice of Terrell Basham.

 

If you want to know why CB is keeping his job, take a look at his picks in the top 50.  If you're going to be a good GM, you need to throw strikes with your top 50 picks.  Of our 10 picks since 2017, only 3 of them qualify as "bust" material.  The rest are good/solid picks.

 

2017 pick 15 - Malik Hooker

2017 pick 46 - Quincy Wilson

2018 pick 6 - Quenton Nelson (multi pro bowl, HOF)

2018 pick 36 - Darius Leonard (multi pro bowl)

2018 pick 37 - Braden Smith (solid starter)

2019 pick 34 - Rock Ya-Sin (starter)

2019 pick 49 - Kemoko Turay

2020 pick 34 - Michael Pittman (starter)

2020 pick 41 - Jonathan Taylor (pro bowl)

2021 pick 21 - Kwity Paye (starter)

The only issue there is that the better performers are at safer positions.  Easier positions to find.  A GM also needs to find the harder positions to fill with picks in the top 50, and Ballard has not done that thus far .

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59 minutes ago, DougDew said:

Well, he could not have gotten both.  He traded out of 26 to land at 34, where he took RYS over Deebo.

There were plenty of people in the draft thread and pre-draft threads that were high on Deebo.  There was an understanding that Ballard wanted to steer clear of Sweat because of rumored health red flags, but the fact that Washington traded up for Sweat suggests that the rumors were subject to debate.

 

Nobody on the forum understood the Benagu pick over AJ Brown.  It was 90%...huh?  Hindsight isn't prevailing here.

 

Ballard could have gotten Sweat and AJ Brown if he stayed put.  Could have had McLaurin instead of Brown, or DK instead of Brown.  All three WRs instead of Ben.  

 

He wanted a corner and a slot WR because that was the need at the time.  He moved around and got them.

 

They already had the #34 pick (used on Rock) from the NYJ trade in 2018. So if they took Sweat at #26, they would still have #34 to use on Deebo.

 

It was the #26 pick that they traded down with to the Banogu pick with. Originally, they traded down to #46 and then again to #49. 

 

They went into that draft with #26, #34 and #59. Double-dipping WR in that 2nd round was a very valid strategy. But I also really liked the Ss that were there late in the 2nd round (Rapp, Thornhill, Adderley).

 

I just think that it was a big whiff.

 

As for the next picks, Oke gets one more year to earn a second contract, as does Willis. Rock might end up the only one to get a second contract....although I could see smaller deals for a couple of the guys.

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12 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

They already had the #34 pick (used on Rock) from the NYJ trade in 2018. So if they took Sweat at #26, they would still have #34 to use on Deebo.

 

It was the #26 pick that they traded down with to the Banogu pick with. Originally, they traded down to #46 and then again to #49. 

 

They went into that draft with #26, #34 and #59. Double-dipping WR in that 2nd round was a very valid strategy. But I also really liked the Ss that were there late in the 2nd round (Rapp, Thornhill, Adderley).

 

I just think that it was a big whiff.

 

As for the next picks, Oke gets one more year to earn a second contract, as does Willis. Rock might end up the only one to get a second contract....although I could see smaller deals for a couple of the guys.

Yep.  I stand corrected.

 

Trading out of 26 when you have 34 is not a bad deal.  Selecting RYS over Deebo is not a huge whiff...you can debate if we needed a corner for the future too (didn't Desir leave that offseason?).  But the Benagu over Brown is really bad, was bad at the time, and has never looked good for a second.  Ballard could have still drafted Parris as the immediate slot and future Z and that would still be a reasonable draft, with RYS, AJ Brown, and Parris.

 

Signing Funchess to a one year deal influenced how Ballard approached WRs in that draft, IMO. 

 

Willis is a nice player but not a good fit, unless we replace SAM with the third safety in the box.  In which case Ballard needs to find the deep FS before he extends Willis.  If he can't find the FS and we roll with just 2, Willis needs to be replaced with somebody more suited for those duties.  Heck, I'd probably rather have Odum at FS and Blackmon at SS in a zone system than have Blackmon at FS and Willis at SS.

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10 hours ago, EastStreet said:

Then they hire someone that wasn't even in their first round interviews, and was likely 3rd at most on their 2nd round interviews. What went down was a cluster. Folks like to forget...

In your perpetual Frank bashing sermons, you refer to this a lot.  Frank wasn't interviewed because he was coaching a team deep into the playoffs....the SB.  Frank was hired immediately after the SB.

 

Obviously Josh was the first choice, no fuel to bash Frank with that fact, but how do you know that the other candidates that were interviewed ranked higher than the guy who was unavailable to be interviewed?

 

Ballard may have never planned to hire the other guys.  Sometimes you give interviews for other reasons.  You interview as many as soon as possible.  That doesn't mean that those other guys rank higher than the guy you can't interview simply because they went through the process first.  

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I will just do Top 5's

 

Best

1. Trading up to get Jonathan Taylor - Excellent.

 

2. Drafting Darius Leonard - Call it lucky but I call it being smart.

 

3. Trading for Defo - Needed to be done.

 

4. Drafting Quenton Nelson - Loved the pick!

 

5. Signing Philip Rivers in 2020, we realistically could've made a deep run in the playoffs in 2020 with Rivers. We went 11-5 and Buffalo got lucky to beat us at Buffalo in the playoffs. Fun season.

 

Worst

1. Drafting Quincy Wilson - He couldn't cover Homer Simpson lmao , bust for a high 2nd round pick.

 

2. Signing Devin Funchess - Huge mistake, was an injury waiting to happen. Did nothing here. Waste of money.

 

3. Wasting a 4th Round pick on Eason - We could've got a good LT or a good DE with that pick. He did nothing here and we cut him.

 

4. Signing Eric Fisher - Me personally I would've drafted a LT in the 1st round last year. I like Paye though. Fish is cooked, he almost got Wentz killed on many occasion.

 

5. Drafting Ben Banogu - Huge let down for being such a high 2nd round pick. He just isn't good at all.

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22 hours ago, DougDew said:

Lots of memory recall involved.  I'm not sure that I'm up to the task.

 

Best.

 

Firing Chuck Pagano

Hiring Frank Reich

Hiring Matt Elberflus

Drafting Braden Smith

Drafting Michael Pittman

Drafting JT

Signing Danico Autry at the time

Drafting Leonard to play WILL

Trading for Carson Wentz

Signing our RT to a big extension.

 

Worst

 

Offering Josh McDaniels a job

Drafting Malik Hooker when there were so many glaring holes and future holes

Signing JB to an extension and handing him the starting job.

His decisions in the 2019 draft.  Passing on Sweat, DK, AJ Brown, and getting RYS, Parris, and Ben

Signing Jonathan Hankins

Ignoring the left tackle position as AC was getting older.

The 2017 draft in total.

Signing a WILL to a $60M extension.

Thinking that Gs matter a lot more than they do.

I'm saving #10 as a future $70M extension for a G.

 

 

I really think Ballard drafts more on upside and what they player may do rather than on what a player has done. If you look at all his busts,  I think he was trying to fit  square peg into a round hole. It has come back to bite him.  

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