- Colts’ GM Chris Ballard on new QB Carson Wentz and his familiarity with HC Frank Reich: “He understands what Frank wants. He understands the offense.” (Jim Ayello)
- Ballard also mentioned that this could be a make or break year for DE Ben Banogu: “This is a big year for Ben Banogu. This is a big year. He knows it.”(Ayello)
- Other defensive linemen were mentioned by Ballard including DL Tyquan Lewis and DE Kemoko Turay: “We’re excited about Tyquan. Tyquan is a good player… On Turay, I think everybody sees is…He had a severe ankle injury. He comes back and he’s still struggling. I blame myself for that. “This rehab is going a lot better. We think he’ll be ready to go by June.” (Stephen Holder)
- “I thought Tyquan really came on last year and played good football. We think he can play good football. We didn’t get to see Turay fully, he had another surgery after the season.” (Joel A. Erickson)
- Ballard says Turay indeed had another surgery on his ankle after the season, following a first surgery during the 2019 season The team is hopeful that his issues are now fixed: “He was never quite right all year.” (Zak Keefer)
- Another position Ballard commented on was left tackle, mentioning Julie’n Davenport and Sam Tevi who were signed in free agency: “I think we’ve got four really good linemen. We’ve signed a couple of veterans. Tevi has started a lot of games for the Chargers. Julie’n has played in the league. We will create competition at LT and get the best five on the field.” (Holder)
Jaguars HC Urban Meyer mentioned that he is leaning on GM Trent Baalke, DC Joe Cullen, OC Darrell Bevell, and STs coordinator Brian Schneider in evaluating players in the 2021 NFL Draft with high value compared to positions of need for Jacksonville.
“I find myself always looking at need and that’s where you have to be cautious, you start chasing players,” Meyer said, via Kevin Patra of Around the NFL. “The whole idea of value is completely new to me. That’s something I relied on [defensive coordinator] Joe Cullen and [offensive coordinator Darrell] Bevell as coordinators and [special teams coordinator] Brian Schneider, who has extensive experience in the NFL, and obviously Trent and his staff. I’m a quick learner. I’ve been working at this now for about three months, and the last three to four weeks, this has been our entire life in that room watching video, stacking the board.”
Meyer added that he is “trusting” their front office and instead of pressuring them to examine positions he prefers.
“So, trusting the board is key. I’m at the point almost there that I will trust it, but as a coach, I can see where [you can say], ‘We need this, we need this, and we need this’ and that’s where you get yourself in trouble. It’s been a great learning experience for me and to answer your question, I’m nervous. I’m nervous about everything, I think you know that.”
Meyer said he and Baalke would like to add “immediate value” with their 2021 NFL Draft picks.
“I see that we not only have to make those picks, [but] we have to add immediate value to our team,” Meyer said. “That’s the way Trent, myself and our coaching staff look at it. That’s how important these picks are, so we’re looking at these picks to make instant impact, especially those first four picks.”
- According to Jim Wyatt of TenneseeTitans.com, the defensive tackle class is thin this year, meaning that many teams could miss out on drafting a solid player at the position by not taking one early.
- Wyatt believes that Alabama DT Christian Barmore could wind up being the Titans’ pick despite them having other needs at receiver and cornerback.