INDIANAPOLIS – Coming into the 2017 NFL Draft, the supply met the demand for the Indianapolis Colts.
Upgrading the talent on the defensive side of the ball was needed.
The 2017 Draft offered a class of defenders that had not been seen in quite some time.
But what about that old saying of the "draft dictating to you?"
When the dust cleared on this year's draft, the Colts left with six defenders in eight selections, the most defensive picks the franchise has had since 2010.
"Good for us because it was a very deep defensive draft," Ballard said of the heavy defensive look to his first draft class.
"We've added some young talent. I think that was important this year to add some young talent that we can still have some upside to develop."
Of Ballard's six drafted defenders, five could easily be competing for starting-like playing time in 2017.
Second-round cornerback Quincy Wilson has the best shot at early playing time.
Fellow cornerback Nate Hairston (fifth-round pick) could also push for action within the Colts' sub packages.
First-round selection Malik Hooker instantly infuses the much-needed playmaking in the secondary.
Linebackers Tarell Basham (outside) and Anthony Walker, Jr. (inside) enter the picture at a very unsettled position group in terms of locked in playing time for 2017.
Now, it's time to see how it all shakes out.
Competition, arguably Ballard's favorite word, will be everywhere come Training Camp.
And just because a player was drafted in a certain slot, do not think for a second that guarantees anything.
"Last year in Kansas City, we cut our third-round pick for a sixth-round corner that we drafted," Ballard points out. "You can't preach competition and not live it because I promise you the locker room knows. They know who deserves to make it and who doesn't deserve to make it."
Seeing how this defense looks come Week One is anyone's guess after all the new faces here in 2017.
"Both in our draft class and in free agency we've added some upside talent," Ballard said.
"Now, much like all of us, you've got to prove it. We're all in the prove it business every day."
A behind the scenes look at the Colts "war room" during day three of the 2017 NFL Draft.
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