Colts Taking Trade Calls For NFL Draft

Intro: In two days, Chris Ballard will be in the big chair of the 2017 NFL Draft for the Indianapolis Colts. What does Ballard think of trading during the draft, taking a running back in Round One and the type of defensive players he’s trying to add next week?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Fans expecting the Colts to make a pick at 15th overall on Thursday night might have to wait a little longer.

The Colts have expressed a desire to trade back in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Even with seven picks in the first five rounds, an extremely high number for the Colts, Jim Irsay and Chris Ballard have not shied away from publically stating they are willing to do some dealing, preferably backwards.

Last Friday, Ballard updated the trade chatter.

"We've had a couple calls," Ballard said on "The Ride With JMV" on 1070 The Fan.

"I've talked to a couple of teams. It's still early. People are just trying to find out who's willing to move because you just never know on draft day."

Ultimately, what the draft board looks like when the 15th pick arrives on Thursday will dictate Ballard's readiness to move.

With his first draft as an NFL general manager just two days away, Ballard has described the type of defenders he's searching for this week.

It is no secret the Colts have a need on defense, especially at linebacker and cornerback.

Ballard wants game changers at those spots.

"We need guys on defense with speed and explosive playmaking---guys that can go get the ball," Ballard told JMV. "Extra possessions in games. The more possessions you can add by taking away the football is important.

"The more speed you have, the more athleticism you have, guys with hands, guys that can catch the ball, guys that can run, so when the ball pops out they can get the ball---we've got to continue to add those types of players."

In his four seasons with Kansas City, the Chiefs were a top-five team in turnovers on three separate occasions. The one year they weren't in the top five, they missed the playoffs.

The Colts ranked 26th in takeaways last year.

One position group the Colts need more playmaking from going forward is the cornerback spot.

That's (arguably) the most obvious need for the Colts when the draft gets started on Thursday.

Ballard has explained what exactly he covets in corners, after the Colts never were very involved in bringing in a veteran cornerback earlier this offseason.

"Bigger, longer is better," Ballard says of corner. "Bigger, longer, with hands. Defensive players that can't catch the football I have a hard time with because those are game-changing plays within a game. A dropped interception, that's a missed opportunity.

"Corners with hands that can take the ball away is an important skill we look for. We want longer, taller guys. I'm not going to say we won't ever take a shorter corner, but the shorter corner has to be a unique athlete, a special athlete to overcome his size."

Among the topics covered with JMV, Ballard said that going running back in Round One is possible, but there's still opportunity for production from the ball carrier group if one waits.

"The good thing about running backs is that you can usually find them throughout a draft, even after a draft," Ballard says. "If you're looking and it fits your offense, you can find those guys."

One position group Ballard continues to praise is the offensive line.

Ballard credited his predecessor, Ryan Grigson, for the positive arrow of the line group.

"Ryan Grigson did a heck of a job last year identifying some good linemen in (Ryan) Kelly, (Le'Raven) Clark and (Joe) Haeg and bringing them in the building," Ballard said.

"They are all developing nicely. It takes time. The speed, the intensity, the technique, the violence that happens in the trenches, that takes time to adjust to. It takes young players time to adjust to."

All these draft tidbits Ballard shared late last week is part of the chatter we hear this time of year.

Leaks are occurring out of every NFL building right now.

Let's just get to Thursday night.

The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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