Chris Ballard: Colts 'open to moving back' in NFL draft

The Indianapolis Colts already traded down once in this year's NFL draft. General Manager Chris Ballard would be open to doing it again before the team makes their first selection next Thursday.

Joining NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Friday, Ballard was asked whether he's prepared to trade down from the No. 6 spot if the opportunity arises to stockpile additional picks.

"We feel good about the player that will be there," Ballard said. "When we made the trade [with the Jets from No. 3 to No. 6], we thought a lot about the depth of the draft, where it ended if there were two quarterbacks that go in the top six picks, are we going to feel comfortable with the fourth-best position player? And we do. We feel very comfortable with that.

"Saying that, we will be open to moving back if we think it is the right thing for us to do and there's enough players on the board -- depending on how far we have to move back -- that we feel comfortable taking."

The Colts have seemingly been linked to every non-quarterback prospect expected to go in the top 10. From guard Quenton Nelson, to running back Saquon Barkley, to pass rusher Bradley Chubb, corner Denzel Ward, defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, or linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith.

If Ballard believes he can get one of his targeted players a few picks later (say No. 11 where the Dolphins reside, or No. 12 from Buffalo), trading back makes perfect sense. If there is a risk he'd get stuck taking a lower-graded player, Indy should stick at six.

With six days until NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell kicks off the draft from Dallas, Ballard said his board is nearly set.

"Well, I guess we'll see on draft day. We're still working through it, but we're getting close," he said. "Look, you work through when you're meeting with your coaches and your scouts, you're still gathering just the last bit of information that you need. I would say it was 90 percent set with just a couple of tweaks here and there before early next week."

Other notes from Ballard's interview on GMFB:

  1. Ballard didn't provide much of an update on Andrew Luck, simply saying the QB is "in a great spot right now," and noting there are still three months before training camp.
  1. For four seasons (2013-2016), Ballard worked under John Dorsey with the Kansas City Chiefs. The time spent in the boardroom going over prospects gives Ballard a unique insight into what to expect from Cleveland's new GM, who holds the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks.

"Well, let me say this. I miss being in that room with him. It's fun," Ballard said. "I mean, looking at his press conferences, they are very entertaining. And I'll say this: He'll take everybody's advice ... and how they see the player, and he'll build a consensus and then he'll pick who he thinks the best players for the Browns will be. And he won't share that with anybody. On draft day, I think that in his mind he knows what he wants, but he's going to let everybody have their say and make the best decision...

"It's collective because he's listening to everyone in the room and then making a decision. But John keeps things close to the vest. That's what makes him really good. Look, he's got a lot of track record of success with picking good players, and he'll pick the right guys with the Browns."

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