Chris Ballard of the Colts doesn’t view the urgency in drafting a cornerback and instead prioritizes the protection of Anthony Richardson.

The upcoming 2024 NFL Draft is looming, and with it, the destiny of the Indianapolis Colts hangs in the balance—or so some observers outside the team’s bubble would like to believe at this time of year. However, for those within the organization, the atmosphere isn’t quite as dramatic.

Chris Ballard, the Colts’ general manager, doesn’t pay much heed to the outside chatter, irrespective of the numerous mock drafts that captivate fans and media alike. He understands the pressure on him to guide the Colts back to the playoffs.

Taking a brief respite from his duties, Ballard held his customary pre-draft press conference on Friday. Here are the key points from his interaction with the media:

Throughout the offseason, I’ve emphasized the Colts’ requirement for another top-tier cornerback to complement seasoned nickel Kenny Moore II and 2023 second-round selection JuJu Brents. However, Ballard doesn’t share my urgency. Despite the absence of a veteran cornerback signing in free agency, Ballard stated that while the team is always on the lookout for talent, he doesn’t seem desperate to draft a cornerback in the first round, such as Alabama’s Terrion Arnold, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell, or Iowa’s Cooper DeJean.

Colts' Chris Ballard doesn't see desperate need to draft CB, aims to' protect' Anthony Richardson - The Athletic

Ballard likened the criticism of his cornerback group to the scrutiny faced by the offensive line two years ago. He recalled how, despite widespread criticism, he believed the line improved as the season progressed.

Despite Kenny Moore being the sole established cornerback on the roster, Ballard brushed aside concerns about the team’s youth and inexperience in the secondary. He highlighted the potential impact of Dallis Flowers, an undrafted free-agent signee from 2022 who started last season before getting injured in Week 4. Ballard also praised the progress of JuJu Brents and 2023 seventh-round pick Jaylon Jones.

Ballard acknowledged his earlier remarks from January, where he admitted to putting defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in a challenging position by relying heavily on young players in the defensive secondary last year. He expressed confidence that this won’t be an issue moving forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *