INDIANAPOLIS — The phone lines are open at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
With the start of the 2018 NFL Draft less than two hours away, Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard said the team has already fielded feeler calls from other teams currently below them in the draft who are looking to possibly make a trade to move into the Colts' spot at No. 6 overall.
"You know, we've had a few discussions here in the last few hours," Ballard told Colts.com's Bob Lamey early this evening.
Ballard said he doesn't anticipate any action actually picking up until two or three picks before the Colts go on the clock, however.
But if and when those calls do come in, Ballard said his staff is already prepared for whatever scenario it could possibly face.
"Whenever you're on the clock, you'll get the teams that are really interested in coming up, and you've got to have your mind made up," Ballard said. "Just because of that 10-minute window that we have, you need to have your mind made up; if you're going to move down, you need to work out the parameters of the deal before you do that, and the time's shorter."
Ballard and the Colts have already executed one draft-related trade this offseason, sending the No. 3-overall pick to the New York Jets on March 21 in exchange for the Jets' pick at No. 6, as well as New York's two picks in the second round this year (37th and 49th overall), as well as the Jets' second-round pick next year.
Because of the four quarterback prospects expected to be selected within the first few picks — as well as the expectation that quarterback-needy teams not in the top-five would likely be trying to trade up to get one of those guys — Ballard felt comfortable upon making that trade with the Jets that the Colts would still land one of the "premium" position players on their board at No. 6 overall.
Ballard said Friday in his pre-draft press conference that since that trade, however, the Colts have identified as many as eight non-quarterback "premium players" that they would feel very comfortable selecting, which means executing another trade — perhaps as far down as No. 12, where the quarterback-needy Buffalo Bills currently sit — wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities.
But make no mistake: Ballard echoed early tonight that if a can't-miss prospect on their draft board is there for the picking when they go on the clock at No. 6 overall, it would take quite the haul to convince him to move down.
"We've had certain players targeted that if they're at six, we'll stay and make the pick," Ballard told Lamey. "Unless somebody just blows us out of the water with something that we can't turn down, we have certain players targeted that we think will be longtime Colts and will be impact players for us."