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Colts Have the NFL’s 4th Most ‘Homegrown’ Talent

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NFL: NOV 11 Jaguars at Colts Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to NFL.com, the Indianapolis Colts have the NFL’s fourth most (tied) ‘homegrown’ talent in the league with 27 such players currently on their active roster:

A homegrown player is considered any player who’s still on the same team that drafted them. This can also include players who are back with their original teams after stints elsewhere (excluding 2020 draftees).

Of course, a lot of the Colts stockpiling of ‘homegrown talent’ can be attributed to the arrival of general manager Chris Ballard in Indianapolis a little over three years ago.

Since taking over as Colts general manager in 2017, 23 of Ballard’s 29 total selections (79.3%) in his first three draft class (2017-2019, excluding 2020) remain on the Colts active roster. That accounts for 23 of those 27 total ‘homegrown’ players.

[It’s worth noting that all 29 of Ballard’s total selections remain on NFL rosters].

That 23-man group coupled with 4 holdovers from previous regimes: Anthony Castonzo, T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Kelly, and Le’Raven Clark, and that’s your 27 ‘homegrown’ Colts players.

A lot of great sports dynasties’ nucleuses were homegrown: the Chicago Bulls, the New York Yankees, the New England Patriots (*barf*), the San Antonio Spurs, and even those highly successful ‘Peyton Manning era’ Colts teams (regardless if they only had one Super Bowl title to show for it—those perennial AFC juggernauts won a lot of games).

It’s how you successfully build a franchise of long-term sustained success, and Ballard has done a commendable of continuing to draft well and compile homegrown talent for the Colts franchise.

For what it’s worth, the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals led the way (tied) with 30 total ‘homegrown’ players—although one of those franchises clearly isn’t like the other in terms of recent overall success—but maybe that’s about to change with top rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.