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Chris Ballard says safety, tight end positions in 2017 NFL Draft “about as deep as I’ve seen”

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s draft is a very deep one at certain positions, and several of those positions happen to be areas that the Colts need help at.

For example, it’s widely considered to be a deep draft class at edge and cornerback, which fits nicely into the Colts’ two biggest needs. Running back is also a position of depth, and that’s another area that the Colts need.

But while those positions are probably talked about the most, there are other areas with plenty of depth. In fact, at his pre-draft press conference last week Chris Ballard said that the safety and tight end positions are as deep as he’s ever seen.

“There’s two positions – safety and tight end – that are about as deep as I’ve seen in 16 years of doing this,” Ballard said. “Both [have] outstanding players at every level of the draft.”

Both positions will almost certainly have multiple first rounders taken tomorrow night, and the depth extends into later rounds too. And it’s possible that the Colts could wind up taking a player at both positions at some point in the draft. They could use additional safety help at a position that currently features Clayton Geathers, Darius Butler, and T.J. Green, while they could also use a depth tight end to compete for a roster spot behind Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope. Perhaps the Colts won’t grab a safety or a tight end early, but in such a deep class it’s likely that at some point in the draft a safety or tight end will be viewed as great value by the Colts.

Though Ballard specifically mentioned the safety and tight end spots as being very deep, he also thinks some of the other areas, of more pressing need to the Colts, have a lot of depth too. Like pass rushers and cornerbacks.

“I think there’s good depth at both,” Ballard agreed. “Whether we get one or not, we’ll see on draft [day] – you just never know how it unfolds. You just don’t know, but I think there’s good depth at both positions.”

One of the things that Ballard has tried to do is prevent giving away any real concrete information about what the Colts plan to do in the draft, thus his qualifier that you don’t know how the draft will unfold regarding pass rushers and cornerbacks. But while Ballard isn’t giving much away regarding what positions they’ll target in the draft, he’s been much more open when talking about the Colts and where their needs are - and he’s identified both pass rush and cornerback as areas they could use help.

Here’s the good news for the Colts: a lot of the areas that they need help at, like pass rush and cornerback, have plenty of depth in this draft. Ballard loves the depth at safety and tight end too, and he’s not alone in that feeling either. This is a very deep draft class at a number of positions, and that’s certainly worth keeping in mind as we enter the draft this weekend.