Colts’ Chris Ballard ranked 6th among NFL GMs

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Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard was ranked sixth-best among NFL general managers entering the 2021 season by NBC Sports.

6. Chris Ballard, Colts

When it comes to the biggest question of football team building — quarterback — it is easier to be wrong than right. Chris Ballard, who keeps coming home with incompletes, just wants an answer one way or the other. Trade acquisition Carson Wentz will be Ballard’s fourth starter in five years on the job, and the riskiest of the lot. If Wentz can rekindle his supposed early-career chemistry with ex-Eagles OC Frank Reich, Ballard can finally begin putting the finishing touches on a roster he’s generously provisioned on defense and along the offensive line. The skill corps has proven to be a tricky spot, though sophomores Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman are the Colts’ most exciting young playmakers since T.Y. Hilton. Ballard has not been perfect, even in the draft, where his classes have been spottier since his monster 2018. He simply continues to make more good moves than bad ones. It’s tempting to say that is more than half the battle for an NFL general manager, but that would be incorrect. It’s the whole ballgame in a profession where mistakes are a part of daily life.

Ballard has done a solid job rebuilding the roster from the empty shell it was when he took over as general manager in 2017. Since then, he’s had multiple hits in the draft such as All-Pros Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard while trading for All-Pro DeForest Buckner.

Ballard has also had to deal with losing a franchise quarterback to retirement and then having a new quarterback in every season since then.

The Colts have built a roster that can contend with any team, but they are still missing the quarterback piece that will put them over the top. Their hope is that Carson Wentz can become that player after they traded two draft picks to get him.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the Wentz situation, but Ballard still remains one of the best general manager’s in the league.

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