Chris Ballard: There is a difference between drafting a QB and drafting the right QB

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The Colts drafted Peyton Manning with the No. 1 overall choice in 1998. They drafted Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall choice in 2012. That gave them 19 years — not counting the one year each missed on injured reserve — of quarterback stability.

Luck’s unexpected retirement before the 2019 season has made the position uncertain for the Colts. They started Jacoby Brissett in 2019 before signing Philip Rivers to a one-year deal before this season.

Rivers and Brissett both are scheduled to become free agents this spring.

General Manager Chris Ballard said the team will give Rivers a month to decide whether he wants to play an 18th season. Either way, the Colts don’t have a quarterback of the future on their roster.

“Go back and look at first-round quarterbacks drafted over the last 10 years,” Ballard said Thursday, via video from Zak Keefer of “It is not an exact science. Everybody just thinks you just take one, and you’re going to fix the problem.

“Look, taking one will get y’all off my ass for a little bit, but the second that guy doesn’t play well, I’m gonna be the first one run out of the building. I promise you we get the importance of the quarterback position. But the difference between just taking one and taking the right one is the key in our minds. We’ll explore it. We’ll examine it. We’ll go A to Z on it, I promise you. That position never leaves my mind, and it’s something we want to get fixed. But also there’s got to be a little bit of timing and luck that comes into play when you get it.”

Of the 31 quarterbacks drafted in the first round over the past 10 years, only 14 have made at least one Pro Bowl appearance. Only five of those — Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson — have multiple Pro Bowls.

10 responses to “Chris Ballard: There is a difference between drafting a QB and drafting the right QB

  1. I’m not sure pro bowl is a good barometer of anything. I’d be more interested to know of those 31 1st rounders that have been eligible to do so how many signed a 2nd contract with their drafting team?

  2. They’d go after Stafford if they’re smart. Stafford has never had an O line like the Colts have… Or RBs like the Colts have.

  3. It’s more of an exact science if you’re a good scout. QB’s are one of the easiest positions to scout because they handle the ball on every play. If you actually shut off all the outside noise, and just study the QB’s, it’s pretty easy to see the blue chippers. Being able to evaluate QB’s is the number one thing you’re looking for in a GM. I mean, you can be a perfect GM, but if you don’t have a QB, you’ll soon be an ex-GM.

  4. A none-too-veiled swipe at Ryan Pace, who aced out Ballard for the Bears GM job and of course, drafted Mitch Trubisky. I love it.

  5. Don’t forget about Jacob Eason, whom they drafted last year. Rocket arm, perfect size, tons of potential, just needs seasoning and experience.

  6. Stafford?!?! You are crazy. If he is smart he retires. They gonna kill that man up there.

  7. “Either way, the Colts don’t have a quarterback of the future on their roster.”

    Yes they do. His name is Jacob Eason.

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