Colts’ Chris Ballard Fires Warning on Top Picks of 2023 NFL Draft

Chris Ballard

Getty Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard had a message about the first few picks in the 2023 NFL draft.

It’s not unusual that with less than a week to go, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, and perhaps even the next couple selections, will already be decided.

But this year, that doesn’t appear to be the case. At least that’s what Indianapolis Colts general manager conveyed when he spoke to the media on April 21.

“No idea,” Ballard said to the media when asked if he had a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen with the first, second and third picks in the 2023 NFL draft. “I don’t think anybody does. Everybody thinks they do, of course, everybody thinks they do and everybody has an insider that’s giving them information of what’s going to be done.

“Just look at the mock drafts and tell me how accurate they are after the draft. Nobody knows.

“I think we’re all guessing.”

The top three picks are particularly pertinent to the Colts this year because they hold the No. 4 selection. The Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals have the first, second and third picks, respectively, ahead of Indianapolis.

The Panthers acquired the top pick from the Chicago Bears in a trade on March 10.

Ballard Calls ‘Everybody’ a Liar

Part of why the top of the draft board is unclear this year (and sometimes other years) is because of the misdirection some organizations deliver to other teams and the media.

The smokescreens are all part of draft season.

Ballard was a little more direct, though, in his labeling of the typical NFL draft “misdirections” and “smokescreens.”

“Everybody’s lying,” he said. “I might be the most honest unfortunately.

“Usually if you ask a question, I’ll either dance around it or give you an answer. Today, I’m a dancer.”

Ballard appeared to be in good spirits as he delivered that answer. He laughed at his joke about being a dancer.

But on a serious note, he added that “there’s no exact science” to prepare for a draft because there’s no way to know who will be available when it comes time to make a selection (except for the team with the top pick).

How the Top of the 2023 NFL Draft Could Unfold

Obviously, Ballard isn’t convinced there is even a consensus with what might happen with the first three picks. But based on most mock drafts over the past several weeks, two quarterbacks are expected to come off the board in the first three selections.

The expectation is the Colts will choose the third signal caller of the class. Ballard left open the possibility when talking to the media on April 21 that other positions besides quarterback are on the table.

But that doesn’t change a thing behind center in Indianapolis. It’s the most important position in the league and thus the biggest need for the Colts this offseason.

One thing that could shake up the top five, though, is if another trade happens. Another team could move ahead of the Colts at No. 4 to nab a signal caller.

Or, the Colts could move up themselves to No. 3 to give themselves better odds at a quarterback or another player they like.

Ballard also didn’t rule out a trade with the division rival Texans for the No. 2 pick.

Ballard’s message, though, was clear. The only certainty is that uncertainty exists with the first four picks in the 2023 NFL draft.

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