New Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has had success drafting players with off-field risks before, but he’s not just going to throw those concerns out the window.
Joining the MMQB’s Peter King on the writer’s podcast this week, Ballard discussed that the drafting of both players was well-planned process that involved trusting instincts and full cooperation.
“It’s an instinct and it’s a gut feeling, and then when you actually take the kid, you have to have a plan for him to succeed,” Ballard told King, according to 247Sports’ Kirk Larrabee. “Everybody has to be on board. We’re not drafting for our ego; we’re drafting for our team.
“The coach has to be on board, the owner has to be on board, your player programs guy has to get on board. If you need to get the kid help, those people need to be (on board).”
While both Hill and Peters had tremendous success as rookies, Ballard says the first year of a player’s career isn’t what teams should be worried about – it’s the following offseason that’s cause for concern.
“Year one, players come into our league and they’re just trying to get acclimated and they’re usually scared to make a mistake,” said Ballard. “It’s that first offseason that hits, and they have two things – they have time and they have money, and if they’ve had success, their egos have gotten big.
“So it’s year two and three that I think you really have to follow through with the plan … You’ve got to have a plan for that guy to succeed, and then you better work the plan.”
While some teams don’t entertain the idea of adding a red-flag prospect like Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in this year’s draft, but Ballard is open to giving second chances, if he believes the player has learned their lesson.
“You have to make a decision as an organization if you want to move forward with that and with the negative consequences that come along with it, but I’m with you – kids deserve second chances, if they show remorse,” said Ballard. “If they show remorse and are humble.”
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.