INDIANAPOLIS — If it wasn't previously abundantly clear Chris Ballard is intent on re-building the Indianapolis Colts' defense, then Friday night's action in the NFL Draft should put it all into focus.
After going with a talented safety, Malik Hooker, in the first round Thursday night, the first-year Colts general manager on Friday just kept on adding on to that side of the ball, going with Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson and Ohio pass rusher Tarell Basham in the second and third rounds, respectively.
These three are the newest members of an Indianapolis defense that had already underwent a major facelift this offseason, after the team utilized the most active free agency period in franchise history to add several pieces at outside linebacker, middle linebacker and along the defensive line.
Wilson and Basham are additions at perceived positions of need for the Colts, who need a No. 2 cornerback opposite Vontae Davis, as well as plenty of pass rushing depth to keep up in the AFC South Division race.
So before the focus turns completely to Indy's later-round picks on Saturday, let's check out the Top 10 quotes from Wilson, Basham and Ballard.
• "It takes time for people to come together in that locker room. We have a lot of new faces and it will take this group some time. But we think we have added some young players on the roster that can grow together and become the defense we want them to be." — Colts general manager Chris Ballard, on the defense-heavy approach this offseason.
• "It wasn't really a surprise. I knew they were interested. They had been calling my high school coaches, so I knew it was an option for me there." — Newest Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson, on if he was expecting to be selected by Indy in the draft.
• "It was a bit of a surprise. They did reach out to me at the combine. They told me they were interested and how important it was for them to get a defensive end and some pass rushers this year. Once they did pick me up I knew that I'd be right at home, somewhere that they wanted me to come in and start rushing the passer and make some plays." — Newest Colts outside linebacker Tarell Basham, on being picked by the Colts.
• "When we took Quincy (Wilson), we really liked him throughout the process. I mean, I gave it away the other day when we were talking – big, athletic corners that have ball skills and that's what we're looking for. We think he has got a lot of upside. He's 20 years old, he's still young. He's still got a lot of upside. He's a good man to man corner. He's big and he's got great ball skills." — Ballard, on what he saw in Wilson.
• "You got to have confidence to play this position. I feel like I definitely have that and that's why I make the plays that I make." — Wilson, on bringing confidence at the cornerback position.
• "It won't be that much of a challenge at all. I feel like I'll definitely adapt to it and I'll make a great transition. You'll see me on the field making plays real, real soon." — Basham, on the transition into playing as a 3-4 outside linebacker instead of being a defensive end.
• "We think he can play on three downs. He's got good size, good length, good strength, good initial quickness, good effort. He's got the things you look for in a pass rusher. Now he's got to develop." — Ballard, on what he sees in Basham.
• "I'm just a shutdown corner. I feel like I frustrate a lot of receivers and get them off their game, and that's where I come in and make plays." — Wilson, on what he does to be successful on the field at cornerback.
• "I see that they're trying to get their defense going and I'm proud to be a part of the new Indianapolis Colts defense. I hope that I'm able to come in and make an impact and hopefully you'll see us in the playoffs this year." — Basham, on being a part of the Colts' rebuild on defense.
• "You want one that is athletic and that can take the ball away. That plays hard. That plays aggressive. That people know when they come into our building and when we go on the road, they are in for a four-quarter fight. It's going to take time to get there, but we think we have added some good pieces" — Ballard, on the type of defense he hopes to field for the Colts.
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