INDIANAPOLIS — Chris Ballard could very well have the NFL's most popular phone number the night of April 26.
The Indianapolis Colts general manager is expecting to field some enticing offers for the No. 3-overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, likely from teams looking to move up to select one of the several talented quarterbacks on the board.
Asked recently by FS1's Colin Cowherd if he'll eventually just have to shut his phone down and focus on the draft itself before his team goes on the clock, Ballard said that won't likely be an option.
"We'll take phone calls up to the last minute," Ballard said. "We'll be prepared to know the spots in the draft that we need to move back (to) and who the players (are) we are able to take and acquire if we do move back."
The advantage to trading back, of course, is that the other team is usually willing to part ways with multiple draft picks, and the Colts might not even have to move that far back in the first round on their end. The more draft picks at Ballard's disposal, particularly in the first two or three rounds, the better.
But making such a move is only one of a few attractive options for the Colts early in the first round of this year's draft. There are also a few blue chip prospects that could be available when Indy goes on the clock at No. 3 overall, including running back Saquon Barkley or pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
Asked by Cowherd which scenario — an all-around stud at running back vs. an elite pass rusher — was more attractive fundamentally as a general manager and a scout, Ballard didn't quite bite. But if the Colts do decide to make a selection at No. 3, the team is confident it'll get a "difference maker."
"And that's what we're looking for — we want the biggest difference maker we can find," Ballard said. "And, look: we're going to be open too, now; we're going to be smart and the do the best thing for the team. So if we get a chance to move back, and we think that's the best thing to do, then that's what we'll do."
Here's Cowherd's entire conversation with Ballard, in which the two also touch on the importance of the NFL Scouting Combine, when a team should give a potential "troublesome" prospect a second chance, how Ballard reacted when Josh McDaniels decided against being the team's next head coach and the latest on quarterback Andrew Luck: