The Indianapolis Colts are an interesting team but are also a clear case of how not to build a roster in the modern-day NFL. Colts’ GM Chris Ballard appears to be a widely respected front office executive, but his results have not warranted that kind of feeling.
The Colts, during his tenure, along with his head coach, Frank Reich, have been a solid team. They’ve never been considered elite, but they have never really been considered bad, either. They are such an interesting case among the NFL landscape.
I do think they are also a clear case study of how not to build an NFL team. Their biggest issue came when Andrew Luck abruptly retired after the 2018 season. It sent shockwaves through the NFL and left the Colts in an interesting place with the future of their team.
However, the way they have responded to Luck’s retirement all those years ago is evidence of how their team building is off. In their first draft after Andrew Luck retired in 2020, they took a QB in the fourth round. In 2021, they took a QB in the sixth round, and in 2022, they did not select a quarterback.
During that timeframe, they have started Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, and now Matt Ryan. The first one is a career backup. The second one was on the last legs of his career and could barely throw the ball anymore. The third one had potential in the offense but was kicked out after a year, and the most recent one is clearly cooked.
Matt Ryan is a statue. He can’t move in the pocket and has simply turned into someone who is way past their best days. He’s serviceable, but their QB last year is and was much better. They’ve also been ultra conservative in free agency during Ballard’s tenure. Can anyone name a major free agent that Ballard took a chance on? Anyone?
Moreover, their best players are an interior offensive linemen and an inside linebacker, two positions that aren’t nearly as valuable as they’ve been. They also picked a running back in the second round and will likely give him over $15 million per year.
Put simply, the Colts are not a team to praise for their roster building. Chris Ballard has not done a good job and teams should not follow their lead.