INDIANAPOLIS – With the 2020 season coming to a close and the 2021 NFL Draft on the horizon, NFL.com's Gennaro Filice and Nick Shook sat down to the rank each team's 2020 draft class from 1-32.
The pair would rank the Indianapolis Colts 2020 draft class the top in the league and had the following to say about Chris Ballard and companies picks:
Gennaro Filice: "Halfway through his rookie campaign, Taylor was a disappointment, running indecisively to the tune of just 3.8 yards per carry over his first nine games. But he seemed to find his NFL footing around Thanksgiving, and over the final seven weeks of the regular season, there wasn't a better NFL running back this side of Derrick Henry. Taylor averaged a healthy 6.2 yards per carry in this span, carrying Indianapolis into the playoffs with a franchise-record 253 rushing yards in a Week 17 win over Jacksonville. Standing 5-foot-10, 226 pounds with 4.39 speed, Taylor's a load to bring down and a constant home run threat. In Year 1, he alleviated two major pre-draft concerns -- ball security and receiving skills -- with only one fumble and one drop in the regular season. (Though he did drop two passes in the wild-card loss to Buffalo. Playoff debut jitters?) In an RB era defined by specialization and committee usage, Taylor looks like the rare bell cow. One potential concern for Colts brass and humanity at large: Taylor might have manipulated some kind of midseason body swap with Blackmon, given how antithetically their respective debut campaigns played out. By midseason, Blackmon had surprisingly thrust himself into the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation as a ball-hawking playmaker. But in the stretch run, right when Taylor was taking off, Blackmon appeared to hit a rookie wall. Supernatural factors must be considered. And potentially feared. Pittman -- Indy's top selection who missed three games with an unsettling creeper of a leg injury -- was a pretty consistent producer. The big-bodied wideout is quite spry after the catch, and he knows how to use his 6-4, 220-pound frame as a run blocker, to boot. (Just ask noted tough guy Johnathan Abram, who ate a Pittman pancake on this Colts touchdown.) With a well-rounded game, Pittman feels like a Year 2 breakout candidate, depending on what Indy does at the quarterback position. The cherry on top of another fine draft haul for Chris Ballard: special teamers Rodgers, Glasgow and Blankenship all joining Taylor on the PFWA All-Rookie Team."
You can read the full rankings of 2020 draft classes here. Learn more about the Colts 2020 draft class and their performances in their inaugural season below.
The #34 pick in the 2020 draft appeared in 13 games with 8 starts during his first season. Michael Pittman Jr. tallied 40 receptions for 503 yards in his first season for an average of 12.6 yards per reception and 1 receiving touchdown.
The 41st overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft saw action in 15 games with 13 starts in his rookie campaign. Jonathan Taylor rushed 232 times for 1,169 yds (3rd) and 11 rushing touchdowns (t-7th). He accounted for 77.9 rushing yards per game (5th) and totaled 1468 yards from scrimmage (6th) and 12 total touchdowns (9th) in 2020.
The 85th overall pick saw action in 15 games with 14 starts in his first NFL season. Julian Blackmon tallied 38 tackles (31 solo), 2 interceptions, 6 passes defensed and 1 forced fumble during his rookie campaign.
Jacob Eason was the 122nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and did not see any game action in his rookie season.
Danny Pinter was the 149th pick in the 2020 NFL draft and saw action in 13 games while making 1 start during his rookie season.
The 193rd overall pick saw action in 2 games during his first NFL season. Rob Windsor would total 2 solo tackles during his rookie campaign.
The 211th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft saw action in 13 games during his first season. Isiah Rodgers tallied 24 kickoff returns for 692 yards (28.8 avg.) and added a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The CB also accounted for 7 tackles (5 solo) in his rookie campaign.
Dezmon Patmon was the 212th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and saw game action in 1 game during his rookie season.
The 213th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft saw action in 13 games during his first NFL season. Jordan Glasgow accounted for 8 tackles (5 solo) and 1 punt block during his rookie campaign.
Rodrigo Blankenship joined the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and appeared in all 16 games. The kicker made 32 of his 37 attempted field goals in his rookie campaign.