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is a guy we think can
30-08-2018 04:45 AM
Messaggio: #1
is a guy we think can


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Chris Ballard started collecting draft chips last month. He's hoping the Indianapolis Colts add a few more this week.

The second-year general manager is going all in on a simple Authentic Robert Golden Jersey , proven plan to put the Colts back on a playoff course: Draft well and develop talent from within.

"I'm stubborn in this now, I really am," Ballard said last week. "I really believe the majority of your team needs to be built through your own guys."

He's not bluffing, either.

After cautiously spending in free agency, he finally made a splash March 17 by sending Indy's pick, No. 3 overall, to the quarterback-needy New York Jets for the No. 6 pick, two second-round choices this year and one in 2019.

Indy how holds four picks in the top 50 this year and will have three in the first two rounds next year. Not bad for a team with so many glaring needs.

It could be just the start.

With Andrew Luck working his way back from shoulder surgery, Jacoby Brissett still on his rookie contract and four quarterbacks vying to go in the top 10 selections, Ballard could hit the jackpot if another team wants to move up.

Ballard has already said he will entertain all offers for the No. 6 pick and might even use some cards currently in his hand to get a second first-round pick.

"When we made the trade back, I thought about it and said, 'OK, let's say two quarterbacks are gone and three premier players we have ranked. There had to be four Youth Logan Paulsen Jersey ," Ballard said.

"So I went back and made sure we had four premium players we liked when we made the trade. Now, as we've continued to study, we've identified a couple more premium players. So if we move back, we've still got to be able to get one of those premium players."

Ballard said the Colts have eight non-quarterbacks defined as "premium players."

But what they need most is to start hitting on their picks.


Indy added tight end Eric Ebron, a first-round pick in 2014, veteran offensive lineman Matt Slauson and promising players such as defensive end Denico Autry, linebacker Najee Goode and receiver Ryan Grant in free agency.

Their biggest acquisition, though, might be new coach Frank Reich. He took over in February after Josh McDaniels backed out of a deal following the Super Bowl.

Reich has promised to bring a fun, creative offense that relies heavily on tight ends 鈥?news that should make Ebron happy.


Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who was initially hired by McDaniels, will switch to the traditional 4-3 front.

Ballard believes some of the players who can help are already on the roster.

John Simon will move from linebacker to defensive end, where he played at Ohio State. Edge rusher Terrell Basham Authentic Joaquin Benoit Jersey , who played linebacker last season, also may be headed back to his old college spot on the defensive line. And Jabaal Sheard could be the biggest beneficiary by moving back to defensive end where he had his greatest NFL success.

"I think Jabaal Sheard will take off in this defense," Ballard said.


Indy has needs everywhere: Pass rusher, offensive line, cornerback, linebacker, running back and receiver.

So the list of possible first-round picks is long and wide. Some of the names tagged to the Colts include defensive end defensive end Bradley Chubb, running back Saquon Barkley, guard Quenton Nelson, linebackers Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds among others.


Indy is rebuilding because it's made too many poor picks over the past five years.

The Colts' top pick in 2013, pass rusher Bjoern Werner, is out of the league. So is Trent Richardson Eddie Rosario Minnesota Twins Jersey , whom they got in a trade for the 2014 first-round pick. And receiver Phillip Dorsett, Indy's No. 1 pick in 2015, was traded to New England in September.

But Indy's past two first-round picks 鈥?center Ryan Kelly and safety Malik Hooker 鈥?have both shown promise when they've stayed healthy.

Their best bargains have been defensive end Henry Anderson and safety Clayton Geathers, mid-round picks in 2015.

The Portland Trail Blazers acquired two guards during Thursday’s NBA draft, landing IMG Academy’s Anfernee Simons and Duke’s Gary Trent Jr.

Simons was the 24th pick of the draft. Portland got Trent after acquiring the rights to the 37th pick by trading two future second-round picks to Sacramento.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Simons didn’t play in college. He initially committed to Louisville but after the school fired coach Rick Pitino in October, Simons opted to attend IMG Academy in Florida. Simons, who turned 19 this month, averaged 22.4 points and shot 45 percent last season.

Simons is the first player since 2005 to land in the draft without playing in college or overseas. Simons was eligible for the draft because he’s 19 and one year removed from his high school graduation. The Blazers’ roster had the youngest average age among NBA teams last season.

The Blazers twice brought Simons to Portland for workouts. Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said because Simons didn’t go through the rigors of a college season, they needed additional proof that he was worthy of a first-round selection.

”At that point in the draft we were looking for the guy with the highest ceiling. He has a really bright future. We know he’s going to work,” Olshey said. ”There’s some risk; not a guy with a big body of work. But that’s not our job to play it safe.”

Olshey, who sees Simons as a combo guard, acknowledges the learning curve as rookie will be steep.

”He may be a deer in the headlights for a little bit. But for Anfernee Authentic Shaquem Griffin Jersey , he’ll get it,” Olshey said.

Of the Blazers’ two selections, Olshey believes the 6-6 Trent has the best chance of making an impact next season.

To acquire Trent, Portland sent a 2019 second-round pick and the 2021 pick it earlier obtained from Miami to Sacramento for the 37th selection. As a freshman at Duke, Trent shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range and averaged 14.5 points per game.

”We’re all looking for shooting, and this is a guy we think can step in right away,” Olshey said. ”I don’t think we feel the need to be as patient with Gary based on his body of work as we do with Anfernee.”

The Blazers also landed Trent’s father, Gary Sr., with a draft-day trade in 1995. Trent said playing for the same franchise as his father ”is surreal. It’s unexplainable.”

The Blazers are coming off a 49-33 season and were the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed. They were swept in four games by New Orleans during the first round of the playoffs.

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