PHOENIX – Jim Irsay has said it before and will say it again.
He knows the "draft dictates to you."
Any serious wavering from such a belief can lead an NFL team down a slippery slope.
But that doesn't mean Irsay has thrown away his wish list when the NFL Draft arrives on April 27.
In speaking at Monday's Annual League Meetings in Phoenix, Irsay had his focus on a true pass rusher, a top-flight cornerback and a later-round running back to come out of his current seven-pick draft haul next month.
"We'd love obviously to deal with our lack of pass rush and get some real edge rushers that can make a difference," Irsay began. "We no question need a young corner. And we would love to be able to, in the end, come away, like we had Vick Ballard in 2012 (a fifth-round pick)---that type of impact from a later running back draft pick. We would love to get a young back that can come in and help us offensively."
Irsay said the "needs are many" for the Colts in 2017, even after the team brought in 10 outside free agents this past month.
With an abundance of needs, particular young ones, still prevalent, Irsay is fully on board if Chris Ballard can move back in the draft.
"We wouldn't hesitate to trade down and get a few more picks if we can," Irsay said in Phoenix. "That would be something that we think could really benefit us.
"What we want to do (is) developing and drafting these young players and eventually looking at signing them to that second contract. I think when you sign those guys to their second contracts who are really in their prime, that's what you're looking for."
Looking big picture, Irsay says the Colts are searching for more speed on the defensive side of the ball.
Irsay loves how the offense has been built.
While some on the outside might differ, Irsay is bullish on the offensive line and believes the Colts can be one of the league's higher scoring teams.
It's the defense that remains in flux of young pieces, with the ability to quickly cover ground a desired trait moving forward.
"We are looking to have a fast team defensively, looking to have speed," Irsay said.
"Obviously last year was 8-8, so automatically (in 2017), if your offense is humming and you're playing better defense, you've got to figure we have a chance to do something decent this year."*
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.*