The Indianapolis Colts have been busy.
They made a ton of free agent signings, a few re-signings, and had eight draft picks - while also making a few moves to their personnel staff as well. In short, it’s been an offseason full of change for the Colts, and some much-needed change too.
But the biggest change of them all was one of the first moves they made: hiring Chris Ballard as their general manager.
People around the league see that as their best move, and not only that, but as one of the best moves from around the NFL this offseason. Recently, ESPN’s Field Yates spoke with six coaches and personnel guys around the league to pick the best move of the NFL offseason (the person couldn’t name his own team) and he compiled those responses into a list of the six best moves. One of them was the Colts’ hiring of Ballard.
"[I] just think he's going to do a really good job there," an anonymous front office executive told Yates. "[He] has already done a nice job adding some quality players to that defense through both free agency and the draft. The Colts will be a really tough team to beat here in two or three years if he builds that team like I think he will [heavy on defense with lots of pass-rushers and corners like Kansas City]."
Basically, it seems like this executive thinks that as long as Ballard can build up the Colts’ defense, they’ll be set. That’s a tall task, but it’s one that Ballard seems up to.
"That team will always be good as long as [quarterback Andrew] Luck is there, but just imagine what they could do with a legit defense," the same executive said. "Could be a legitimate contender within a couple years."
That’s always encouraging to hear for Colts fans, I’m sure, as this NFL executive speaks very highly of Chris Ballard and of the Colts’ move to hire him. Of the six moves that were listed by Yates, the Colts’ hiring of Ballard was the only one that involved the hiring of a front office person or coach.
I absolutely agree with including the hiring of Ballard in a list like this, because it was a huge move for the Colts and one that at least looks to be a tremendous one. The Colts have had a really bad defense and have needed a lot of work, and they still do - but Ballard understands that it’s a rebuild, has a strong track record, and seems to be off to a good start. He’s got a very good reputation around the NFL and has been widely praised, and so all indications so far are that the Colts got a good one.
Of all the moves in the NFL this offseason, if Ballard does turn out to be a good one, it will wind up as one of the most impactful moves that’s been made this year.