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Conspiracy Report: For Third Year in a Row, Chris Ballard Leaks Colts Draft Plan

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

To the reader:

First, I’d like to start by saying this article is presented as a “conspiracy theory” because by definition that’s what it is. I’ve spent countless hours over the past week doing research, listening to old pressers and watching every relevant interview I could get my hands on, taking notes on the new information he gave us, while going back over my notes from years past. But because reading between the lines and gut intuition don’t count as analysis this is merely a well researched conspiracy theory.

As I’m writing this letter to you I have no idea what this article is going to say. I don’t have some grand idea I’m writing towards, all I know is that on Thursday April 29th, 2021 the NFL draft will begin and through all of the smoke screens and carefully worded answers given, to this point, I believe, there’s truth to be found. At the end of the day all of this could be wrong, but if I remain logical I feel good about my chances to figure out who our Colts are targeting.

So put on your tinfoil hat, pour your favorite drink and settle into a comfortable chair for these next few thousand words, as I read through the lines, follow the money, listen to my gut and draw conclusions (that may or may not actually be there) all the way to exposing the Colts 2021 draft plans. This is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition. This is the dimension of imagination. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.


The History of this Series

The past two years I have believed that I had pieced together the puzzle that was the Indianapolis Colts 2019 and the 2020 draft plans. In each of the past two years I’ve invested a lot of time and effort sifting through the clues to find possible answers to the question: what will the Indianapolis Colts do in the draft?

A question I’ve answered with varying results.

Last season’s article was challenging to write given the lack of data the team put out leading up to the draft and it showed in my results. I was only able to hit on Michael Pittman Jr. after hitting on Rock Ya-Sin and Ben Banogu in 2019. Even still, I feel pretty good having hit on three guys in two years.

This year has been challenging in it’s own way. Chris Ballard has spoken to the media less but the pre-draft press conference this year was better to pull information from. A year ago every question was about Philip Rivers or COVID. This year Indy media did a better job asking questions about the draft and we came away with just enough to compare and contrast with what Chris Ballard has said in the past and how it aligns with this draft and the teams plan for it.

Some people are probably rolling their eyes at this point and I get that. What makes some blogger in his mom’s basement think his three “hits” have been more than blind luck? Well in a way, they have been lucky. The draft could break in an infinite number of ways and the past two drafts (including 2021) have been really difficult to predict where some prospects will be drafted. Things have to break just right for me to even have a chance but I do think this is a worthwhile effort because while I have been lucky, Chris Ballard usually just tells us what he’s going to do before he does it and I have the receipts to back up that claim.


Chris Ballard Doesn’t Lie

Proof:

In the audio above Chris Ballard talks about how much depth there was on the defensive side of the ball in 2019 and he talked about needing to add players to the secondary and the offensive and defensive lines. As a result the Colts first two picks were in the secondary and on the defensive line.

More Proof:

Here, Ballard talks about adding to the front seven and the offensive line. He went on to add two offensive linemen and three guys along the front seven with his first five picks, if you’re not keeping track at home that’s 100% of his first five picks. He told us exactly what he was going to do and then he did it.

I keep saying it year after year and I’ll say it again, I don’t believe Chris Ballard is a liar. He is a lot of things but I do not believe he will overtly lie when asked a question. Will he dance around questions? Absolutely. Will he avoid them completely? You betcha. Will he change the subject using his Texan drawl while stopping and starting a single sentence a dozen times while saying “Look” more than anyone in the history of the English language ever has? You better believe it. Are there lies of omission? Absolutely, that’s 75% of the job, but it’s never overt. I just believe it’s part of who he is and I believe it’s a big part of why he’s so highly respected around the league. It’s also why I believe this is a valuable exercise.

So lets try to answer some questions about the 2021 NFL Draft.


Will the Indianapolis Colts trade back on day one?

Answer: Yes.

Proof:

During the 2021 Pre-Draft press conference when asked if having less information during this draft process had changed how they do things and resulted in fewer draftable players on their board, Ballard replied with the following:

...There’s plenty of good players in the draft, you just gotta go look for em find em and get em on your team.

When asked about only having six picks in this years draft:

The more picks you have the better chances you get, shots at the board. This is not an exact science and you need a little luck. Let’s be real here. I think we’re pretty good at what we do but there needs to be a little luck involved and the more picks you have, the more chances of luck are going to show up. That’s just a philosophy that we have in the draft. If we’re sittin there and there’s a player that we really think is a difference maker and he is going to really make a difference on our team, we’ll take him or we’ll trade up to get him.

We know that Ballard thinks there are talented players in the draft and we know that philosophically he wants more picks so he can maybe get a little lucky. So we know he wants more picks, he said he wanted more picks last season but he didn’t trade back early in the draft last year. How is this year different?

Well last year, he didn’t do this:

I’m sure we’ll be talkin’ Fri... ya know (blank stare) what day’s the draft start? Thursday? Friday or Saturday we’ll be talkin’. (wink)

Yeah, nice save, Chris.

He did go on to say that maybe he would talk to the media early on Thursday. After each day of the draft Ballard and Reich talk to the media if they make a pick. Saying that he won’t talk to them until Friday implies that they won’t be drafting anyone in the first round. Saying that he might be talking to them early on Thursday implies that they would select someone early and then talk to the media following their pick.

I think if he was working on or had a deal in place to move up he never would have floated that idea, he would have left it alone with the wink.

It is possible the “Friday” slip was just that, a slip, from a guy with a lot on his mind in the most stressful month of his year. But given what he said about trading back being part of his philosophy and about believing there are plenty of talented players to be found in the draft, that slip doesn’t seem like the innocent mistake of a mentally taxed man.

Chris Ballard just leaked his plan for the 21st overall pick. Most likely, he’s going to trade it.


Will the Colts Draft an Offensive Lineman Early?

Answer: Yes

Proof:

Other than this being the most obvious need the team has, the front office has made moves that suggest their plan to replace recently retired Anthony Castonzo at left tackle revolves heavily around the draft. They signed Sam Tevi and Julien Davenport and Ballard called them “good players”. He also said this draft, as a whole, is a really deep class at the position, one of the best offensive line classes he’s seen in a while. He went on to say this:

You want guys that are athletic, that have strength, that can play on the offensive line. What we’re asking... them to do with all the zone blocking and pulls and in pass pro and then you’re blocking these athletic freaks across from ‘em, they’ve got to have a certain amount of athleticism so it’s a good draft for the offensive line and there’s depth throughout the draft, you know, at that position

A season ago Ballard had this to say about the receiver class:

There is a lot of depth at wideout in the draft, we feel good about that. At every level, from guys we think can start to guys we think can play significant roles. Ya gotta let the draft play out. It’s hard to predict it before, it’s even hard to predict it when you’re going through it.

He also said this about the wide receivers who were on the team at the time:

(the current roster is) not completely bare, we do feel like we’ve got some talent at the position.

Do you see any similarities? Davenport and Tevi were signed to provide depth at the position, Ballard saying that they’re good players, does nothing to quell my belief that he’s very interested in taking a tackle early. Further he raved about the depth of the receiver class last year and he selected two receivers, one with his first pick and one late on day three. It’s entirely possible we see the same double dip this year.

Ballard also told us the kind of player they want to play at tackle, but you would already know what kind of athletic profile the Colts preferred at the position if you had read Zach Hicks’ Build-a-Ballard series.


Will the Colts Draft an Edge Rusher Early?

Answer: Probably not.

Proof:

When asked about finding help at defensive end this is what the general manager had to say:

One thing we won’t do is force the issue. Especially early in the draft... if it so happens and (a player) falls and there’s a player we like at one of those positions, sure...

The most interesting thing about this comment is that he said a player would have to fall, but I’ll dig into that more in a minute, now I want to look at what he said about Quarterbacks from the 2020 draft:

I think I’ve talked about this numerous times, you can’t force that. You can’t force the quarterback position, especially in the draft. So I don’t know when that’s going to happen. Maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe two years from now, I don’t know... I’m not gonna force it and it might drive everybody nuts but I’m not gonna force that issue, when we decide to take one up that we thinks gonna be the future guy of the franchise, you gotta be right.

He talks a lot about not forcing the issue at different positions and edge rush is no different. Ballard did go on and talk about all of the players he hopes will step up to rush the passer this year, similarly to the way he talked about tackles Sam Tevi and Julien Davenport. That said, he has invested a lot of draft capital (three, second round picks) in guys that he hopes will finally come through on the defensive line.

The other thing that leads me to believe that they’re going to pass on the top end of this class is his use of the word “fall”. By itself this is just a throwaway comment. Of course if the best pass rusher in any draft fell to you at 21 you would sprint to the podium with your draft card filled out, but when you look at that comment in context, it paints a clearer picture.

Last season Ballard talked a lot about not forcing the issue at quarterback and similarly the Colts were out of range of the top QB prospects, even though a lot of people thought they might make a move to draft a young guy to sit behind Philip Rivers, the Colts waited until the fourth round to select Jacob Eason.

Finally when you consider what Chris Ballard said about the number of first round grades the team has on players this year, it really drives this one home:

I don’t wanna give an exact number but at difference makers we had five to six, difference makers. And then from a first round standpoint we’ve got plenty of names that when somebody gets to 21 we’ll feel good about pickin ‘em.

Sometimes it seems like Chris Ballard is the master of saying what he actually thinks and then trying to add mystery by adding a throwaway comment on after he’s given us what might or might not be “too much” information.

Ballard also said this about “difference makers”:

If we’re sittin there and there is a player that we really think is a difference maker and he is going to really make a difference on our team, we’ll take him or we’ll trade up to get him. We thought Jonathan Taylor was a difference maker and we traded up to get Jonathan Taylor. But there are times that we just felt that whether it was the fit of the player, medical issues of why we traded back, but we just thought at the time whoever was sitting there we could move back and acquire two or three players versus the one player at the time.

So they believe there are five or six difference makers in the draft and they could be willing to move up to go get a difference maker but a pass rusher would have to fall. It seems to me that the Indianapolis Colts don’t intend to select a pass rusher early. Bu like a season ago with the quarterback position they might look to throw a dart at a day three defensive end.


Will the Colts Select a Cornerback Early?

Answer: They hope to.

Proof:

Jim Irsay went on local talk radio, The Ride with JMV and had this to say about the Cornerback position:

I think Chris (Ballard) has worked hard to give us a chance with the defensive backfield, where we have more than just a chance. I think we have a chance to be actually pretty special if we can really find three corners that are really capable guys. I feel like we have at least two now, and that’s going to make a huge difference.

We could talk about what this means about a guy like Rock Ya-Sin, but Luke Schultis did a bang up job talking about that in his article talking about this interview, here.

A lot of people seem to think Jim Irsay is some crazy rich guy that just shoots off at the mouth and does crazy rich guy things. Maybe he does do some crazy rich guy things like this. Or maybe this. Probably this. And, yeah, definitely this. But from a football standpoint, he’s never really been a guy to say a bunch of random stuff that isn’t in line with what his general manager is thinking.

So what does Chris Ballard think about the position? When asked about the position during the 2021 pre-draft press conference he had this to say:

...you can find them at every level of the draft so we’ll continue to look.

I know, there’s almost nothing to this comment. It’s 15 words long. It doesn’t even feel like he’s looked at this years cornerback class, so how can I say that the Colts want to take one early?

In the past when the general consensus has been that the Colts need to draft an edge rusher, Ballard has been quoted as saying that he thinks you can find edge rushers all over the draft. I can’t find the quote right now, but I distinctly remember hating the idea when he said it and if I can’t find the quote this description of it will remain in the article.

So what did Chris Ballard and his staff do after saying that he believes they can be found all over the draft? Well he’s taken three guys early that he hopes will one day become productive pass rushers in Kemoko Turay, Tyquon Lewis and Ben Banogu. Terrell Basham can’t really be considered a “late round pick” after being taken in the third round. So if they can be found anywhere, why does he keep taking them with day two picks?

Similarly, the Colts have drafted cornerbacks and gotten production (though sometimes modest) out of late round picks. Isaiah Rodgers played meaningful snaps in 2020 after being selected in the sixth round one year ago. So what Ballard is saying is true, they have found guys all over the draft. With that said he mostly avoided talking about the position and just said that they can be found anywhere.

Combine the throwaway “you can find them anywhere” statement that he’s used with other positions in the past, the general avoidance and with what Irsay said on 1070 The Fan and you have my reasoning for this belief.


Mostly Unsubstantiated Theories (MUT)

In a new section to the article I want to go over a few draft ideas that Ballard hasn’t directly mentioned. I say these are mostly unsubstantiated because despite the lack of direct information, the teams actions during the off-season thus far gives us plenty of indirect information to sort through.

MUT #1 - The Colts Will Target a Pass Catcher

It’s impossible to say when they’ll target one but they’ll almost certainly have their eye on at least one receiving target. The reasoning is pretty straight forward:

in 2020 Nyheim Hines led the team with 63 receptions, T.Y. Hilton is 31 and had Jim Irsay not gotten involved after Colts fans Tweeted out the hashtag “BringTYHome”, it seems that Ballard would have let him walk in free agency . Frank Reich really loves to use tight ends and Mo Alie-Cox led the tight ends with 31 receptions a season ago. The team hasn’t re-signed Trey Burton (second among Colts TE’s with 28 receptions) and Jack Doyle is 31, has never been a good athlete and that limited athleticism is drifting further into the ether as time marches on. Zach Pascal was second among Colts receivers with 44 receptions, Zach Pascal is a fine player but he shouldn’t be in line to be a teams number two leading receiver, as he was a season ago.

The team will expect Michael Pittman Jr. to continue his development and they will go into another season hoping Paris Campbell will be able to stay on the field. Even if Campbell’s luck turns around and he is able to stay healthy and Pittman comes on, adding a receiver might be a good idea, though the team does have bigger needs, such as at tight end.

Tight end obviously isn’t the team’s biggest need but it is a need all the same and the team did nothing in free agency to address the position. Given everything discussed here, it is this writer’s opinion that the Colts have a few specific targets in mind and will address the position before the week is out.

MUT #2 - The Colts Will Target a Linebacker

Chris Ballard drafting a linebacker? Shocking I know. The team lost second leading tackler Anthony Walker in free agency and while they have a younger and more talented replacement already on the roster in Bobby Okereke, the team needs another ‘backer to fill the hole Walker’s departure leaves.

The team does have E.J. Speed, Zaire Franklin and Matthew Adams available but unless the team knows something the rest of us don’t, they’ll be hunting for an upgrade to help fill the void they currently have at the position.

MUT #3 - The Colts Will Target a Safety

A season ago the Colts had Malik Hooker and Khari Willis penciled in as day one starters. Hooker had largely been a disappointment after making him the 15th overall pick in 2017, but he was fine as a starter. Willis had a surprisingly good rookie year and the future looked bright. On the surface the Colts didn’t need a safety but Chris Ballard took Julian Blackmon with the 85th overall pick, anyway.

As it turns out, Ballard once again knew what he was doing, and for much of the season Blackmon was in the conversation for defensive rookie of the year.

This season Hooker is gone and the team let backup Tavon Wilson leave for San Francisco in free agency. The team did sign Sean Davis, but to this point Davis hasn’t shown he’s much more than a good athlete playing football. It’s unlikely the team will rely on him to fill an increasingly vital role of the third safety. Ballard has been able to find safeties in the third and fourth rounds and while I can’t know for sure, I tend to believe they’ll look this way on day three of the draft.


Other Things We Know:

  • Chris Ballard greatly values college all star games, like the Senior Bowl.
  • The Colts version of “Best Player Available” factors in team need. To what degree is unknown.
  • Character concerns aren’t always a deal breaker.
  • Ballard and his staff obviously value length, placing an emphasis on long armed defenders.
  • Most Colts draft picks have had high Relative Athletic Scores. The Colts most likely don’t use RAS in their evaluation but it’s clear they value players with specific athletic profiles that appear to most often align with high RAS scores.
  • They value high football character. Team captains are held in high regard.

Putting It All Together

  • I’ve never been more sure there will be a trade back (which means I’m probably jinxing it).
  • Some lucky offensive lineman expected to go in the first three rounds will most likely be a Colt before the week is out.
  • A defensive end would need to have quite the fall on draft day for the Colts to take one early.
  • Cornerback might not be high on many fan’s lists but the team hopes to find one early.
  • Ballard will try to find a TE and/or wide receiver this week.
  • Expect a day three linebacker.
  • Even if you don’t think the team needs a stud at the third safety spot, Ballard probably does.
  • All of these predictions could be wrong and Chris Ballard might trade all of his picks for an elite left tackle. - This is my way of saying sometimes Ballard is unpredictable, no one saw the Deforest Buckner trade coming.

Prediction Time

I haven’t been able to land on a great way to structure my predictions. Back in 2019 I threw out eight names. Last season I structured my predictions by draft day. I had one prediction for a trade up into day one but said it was very unlikely and then I gave eight names for day two and eight names for day three for a total of 17 darts thrown. This year I’m going to switch it up again and give you three names per position that I feel the Colts may draft, before fine-tuning my list back down to 10 final names. I’m not going to give myself too much credit for taking 21 guesses and getting one right, I’ll live (and die) by my list of 10.*

All of these predictions (save for one or two) are operating on the idea that the Colts will trade back from 21.

Tackle

  1. Spencer Brown- Northern Iowa
  2. Dillon Radunz- North Dakota State
  3. Brady Christensen- BYU

Brown played his career at Northern Iowa as a right tackle but the 6’8.5” redshirt senior scored a perfect 10 with his Relative Athletic Score (RAS), which is absolutely insane. So why do I believe that the Colts believe he can make the switch? From the pre-draft press conference when asked about a prospect switching from RT to LT:

Yeah that’s a really good question. He’s gotta have the athletic traits to do it. That’s one... Morocco (Brown) and Jamie, it’s like with Braden (Smith) who’s a really good player... when we drafted Braden, it was the furthest thing from my mind that he was going to be our starting right tackle. But I remember Morocco and Jamie both saying, Morocco was like dead set, this guy could be a right tackle in the league. So we have those discussions. They have to have enough athletic ability, they have to have enough strength and I have a lot of faith in our coaching staff, in what they can do we gotta get the player right and give ‘em enough talent to work with but it’s all part of the projection. And I think you can look at, I think it was Wills last year that Cleveland took, they kicked him over and now he’s a left tackle, if they have enough athletic ability and instincts, they can make the move.

Ken Lee Platt, the creator of RAS, has scored 1,134 tackles from 1987 to 2021 and Brown’s score is one of very few perfect 10’s in that time. If Chris Ballard wants a freak of an athlete he can draft on day two with the pure physical gifts to play in either tackle spot it’s Brown. Another thing to note is that the Colts no doubt took notice of Brown during his week at the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Radunz’s athleticism (9.28 RAS) and quality play he’s put on tape as NDSU’s starting left tackle might be too much to look past for Chris Ballard and his staff. Couple that with his strong showing during the week of the Senior Bowl and Radunz checks off several Ballard Boxes.

Brady Christensen makes the list due to his familiarity at left tackle, his almost certainty to be available on day two and the fact that he is an athletic freak in his own right scoring a 9.84 RAS. His RAS took it’s biggest hit because he’s considered undersized at 6’5” and 304 pounds with 33 1/4” arms. Some teams believe Christensen will have to slide inside to guard, so we’ll see how that impacts his draft position.

Honorable mention- Alex Leatherwood- Alabama, Stone Forsythe- Florida

Cornerback

  1. Ifeatu Melifonwu- Syracuse
  2. Benjamin St-Juste- Minnesota
  3. Robert Rochell- Central Arkansas

If Chris Ballard could commission a team of scientists to create a cornerback in a lab that CB would come out looking a lot like Ifeatu Melifonwu. His size, athleticism and willingness and ability to stop the run make Melifonwu a great fit based on what we know about the player. Combine all of that with his reputation of making plays on the ball and I think it might be tough for Chris Ballard to pass him up if he’s on the board on day two.

St-Juste’s scouting report reads a whole lot like Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin’s did when he was coming out of Temple and while I know Colts fans will have a mixed reaction to that news, it’s undeniable that St-Juste fits with what Ballard and co. are looking for at the position.

Robert Rochell is an interesting name you may not have heard of and if I’m being honest that’s at least 75% of the reason I put him on this list. Rochell tested off the charts (9.65 RAS) and the word on the Central Arkansas product is that he’s a physical corner. Rochell might draw the same type of reaction from fans that picks Darius Leonard and Julian Blackmon drew. A general “What? Who?” could ring out and that seems like a common Ballard theme thus far.

Honorable Mention- Aaron Robinson- UCF, Ambry Thomas- Michigan

Tight End

  1. Tommy Tremble- Notre Dame
  2. Noah Gray- Duke
  3. Zach Davidson- Central Missouri

Honorable Mention- Hunter Long- Boston College, Jack Stoll- Nebraska

Tremble might be a little undersized at 6’3” 241 pounds but his 4.65 second 40 yard dash combined with his ability as a blocker might make Tremble too appealing for the Colts to pass up. He’s an early entrant and was underutilized at Notre Dame. He has a lot of potential.

I won’t lie, after Tremble, picking two more tight ends who fit became an exercise in drawing names out of a hat. For the second year in a row, outside of one or two guys, the tight end class is fairly unimpressive. The Colts will likely look to replace the role that was filled by Eric Ebron and most recently Trey Burton and the one thing those two had in common was a fast 40 yard dash time.

Noah Gray ran a 4.62 second 40 and Davidson ran a 4.64. Another thing going in Davidson’s favor (despite his eye popping production at the DII level) is the fact that he’s been pulling double duty at Central Missouri, not only has the 6’6.5” prospect been starting at TE, he’s also his teams number one punter. Teams won’t draft Davidson to punt, but it can’t hurt knowing that if the punter goes down, that lanky tight end you drafted on day three can fill in.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jacob Harris- UCF
  2. Tamorrion Terry- Florida State
  3. Michael Strachan- Charleston

Honorable Mention- Josh Imatorbhebhe- Illnois, Jalen Camp- Georgia Tech

Much like the tight ends I basically drew names out of a hat here. I’m not at all convinced the team will take a wide receiver but if I’m taking shots at this thing, I’m going to take some three pointers.

All three prospects are big and fast. There has been some talk that Harris might be in line to make the move to TE, which makes his selection that much more interesting. Terry’s health is a question and his hands aren’t the best but he’s big and fast and that’s how Chris Ballard likes ‘em.

Strachan is a real long shot as another DII prospect but he’s 6’5” 225 pounds, runs a 4.54 40 and was insanely dominant against his low level of competition. This guy is like Daurice Fountain on steroids (probably not literally).

Linebacker

  1. Jabril Cox- LSU
  2. Jamin Davis- Kentucky
  3. Ben Hladik- British Columbia

Honorable Mention- Nick Niemann- Iowa, Curtis Robinson- Stanford

Cox and Davis are both highly athletic players from the SEC. Either could slide into the Colts rotation at linebacker and do what Matt Eberflus asks of them on day one.

Ben Hladik, however, seems like the kind of late round linebacking prospect Chris Ballard loves. Hladik graded out as an exceptional athlete, scoring a 9.90 RAS. The 6’4” 240 pounder seems to have all of the measurables that Ballard would love to take a chance on late on day three.

Safety

  1. Darrick Forrest- Cincinnati
  2. Tyree Gillespie- Missouri
  3. Jacoby Stevens- LSU

Honorable Mention- James Wiggins- Cincinnati, Divine Deablo- Virginia Tech (Deablo is perfect but will almost certainly be drafted too early)

Forrest tested very well with a 9.69 RAS. He excels going downhill and would slide into the third safety role as a very versatile player. This one was a toss up between he and James Wiggins, who has more special teams experience but I didn’t want to put two safeties from Cincinnati on the list.

Gillespie has experience on special teams and may be available on day three. He didn’t test as well but has experience covering tight ends with a reputation for playing well in that role. Another good option as the teams SAF3

Jacoby Stevens has everything Chris Ballard loves in regard to leadership and football character. Athletically he tested well but not elite. Some teams might see him as a linebacker and for that reason I believe he would be a good day three option to fill the Colts possible need in this role.

Defensive End

  1. Elerson Smith- Northern Iowa
  2. Carlos Basham- Wake Forrest
  3. Azeez Ojulari- Georgia

Honorable Mention- Payton Turner- Houston, Janarius Robinson- Florida State

I’m only listing Ojulari due to the fact that there seems to be a lot of smoke around him to the Colts at their 21st pick recently and while I don’t know that I think Chris Ballard has a leak nor do I believe the Colts keep the 21st overall pick, putting him on this list seems like a good idea.

Smith and Basham both grade out exceptionally well athletically, both had good weeks at the Senior Bowl and both have the size the Colts want at the position. If Ballard is going to take a pass rusher, either of these guys would make a ton of sense.

Final Predictions

  1. Dillon Radunz- OT- North Dakota State
  2. Ifeatu Melifonwu- CB- Syracuse
  3. Tommy Tremble- TE- Notre Dame
  4. Darrick Forrest- S Cincinnati
  5. Elerson Smith- DE Northern Iowa
  6. Spencer Brown- OT- Northern Iowa
  7. Benjamin St-Juste- CB- Minnesota
  8. Ben Hladik- LB- British Columbia
  9. Brady Christensen- OT- BYU
  10. Azeez Ojulari- DE- Georgia

*Unless I don’t hit on anyone from my list of 10 and then I reserve the right to call “hits” from my big list “soft hits” I need some form of validation for what has turned into a ridiculously massive article and if I don’t hit any names on any list at all, I’ll have to reconsider this entire process and I’m getting too old to be making big life changes like that.


Final Thoughts

For some reason, I don’t feel great about that list, but at this point I’m just excited the draft is here. Let me know in the comments what you think I got right or wrong. I hope you’ve enjoyed this extremely long work of conspiratorial bunk as much as I’ve enjoyed researching and writing it.

Enjoy the draft, everyone!