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Chris Ballard on possibility of Colts trading down in NFL Draft: “We’ve had a couple calls”

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NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft begins tomorrow!

While a lot of the conversation regarding the Colts has focused on who they’ll take with the 15th overall pick, it should be noted that there has also been discussion about whether they could trade down and pick up more picks.

That’s a possibility that the Colts have been open about this offseason, and last Friday during an interview with 1070 the Fan’s JMV Chris Ballard admitted that he’s received some phone calls about that very matter.

“We’ve had a couple calls,” Ballard said. “I’ve talked to a couple teams. It’s still early, so people are just kind of trying to find out who’s willing to move, because you just never know on draft day. I think I said this a few weeks ago, in Kansas City my first year there we wanted to trade back and we just couldn’t ever get deals worked out or there wasn’t enough calls coming in; you just never know. Sometimes it just depends on who’s gone, who’s on the board, and then does a couple teams really covet a player.”

The Colts having interest in trading back shouldn’t surprise anybody, because the Colts’ leadership openly admitted as much back at the league meetings earlier this offseason.

“We wouldn’t hesitate to trade down and get a few more picks if we can,” owner Jim Irsay said in March. “That would be something that we think could really benefit us. We love obviously to deal with our lack of pass rush and get some real edge rushers that can make a difference. At the same time, the needs are many. We no question need a young corner and we would love to be able to, in the end, come away [with a running back]. We’re also looking to try to accumulate as many draft picks as we can. I don’t think we’d hesitate trading down if the situation was right in certain rounds to try to get a few more picks.”

“We won’t be [afraid to trade back],” Chris Ballard said at the time too. “We will not be timid about moving around in the draft. Will it happen? I don’t know. There’s some years we said that in Kansas City and we didn’t make one trade. And then last year we beat bopped around a few times in the draft. You’ve got to have a partner that’s willing to trade with and you have to be willing to work out the compensation. We are definitely open to trading back in this draft and we have to make sure when we do it, that it’s the right thing, [and] we still have the right players on the board targeted.”

So none of this should be surprising, becasue the Colts have essentially put a “for-sale” sign on their 15th overall pick for the rest of the league. Thus it should be expected that Ballard would receive some calls from teams that are possibly considering trading up into the draft depending on how the board falls. This part of the process is about putting out feelers to figure out what teams might be willing to trade so that on draft day those moves can be made if the teams still want to.

As Ballard has repeatedly mentioned (and something that’s important for fans to hear), a trade in the NFL involves two teams - meaning that just because the Colts are open to trading down doesn’t mean they will. What it means is that they’ll actively listen to offers from any team that is wanting to trade up for a certain player. So Ballard talking with teams now about the possibility of a trade is all about establishing those connections so that on draft night, a deal could possibly be worked out.

It’s far from a sure thing that the Colts will actually trade down, but it sounds like they’re still certainly open to doing so if the situation is right.