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Ballard continues to purge 2017 defense, will pick up Ryan Kelly’s fifth-year option

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

While much of the attention this weekend was on players who will compose Colts rosters of the future, Chris Ballard continued making room for young prospects by moving on from holdovers from the Ryan Grigson/Chuck Pagano era in Indianapolis. Ballard sent defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway to the Philadephia Eagles for the 246th overall pick. He used that pick to draft Ole Miss interior offensive lineman Javon Patterson, who will compete the opportunity to backup starter Ryan Kelly.

Speaking of Kelly, in his post-draft press conference Chris Ballard indicated that the team plans to pick up his fifth year rookie option. This will keep Kelly in Indianapolis through at least 2020.

Back to the Ridgeway trade and what it means for the defense. Following the trade, the only defensive players on the roster who were on the team when Chris Ballard took over in 2017 are defensive back and special teams ace Chris Milton and safeties Clayton Geathers and Matthias Farley.

Three defensive backs. That’s it.

If that isn’t aggressive enough, after using seven of 10 picks this weekend on defenders you can be quite sure that some players that Ballard has personally brought onto the roster over the last three off-seasons will likely be on their way to new teams before the season starts this year. There is a reason they say that NFL stands for “not for long.”