AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Titans

     

Colts

Colts’ GM Chris Ballard responded to questions about his franchise potentially trading picks in the 2021 draft.

“The more picks you have, the better chances you get, shots at the board,” Ballard said, via Joel A. Erickson of The Indy Star. “I think we’re pretty good at what we do, but there needs to be a little luck involved, and the more picks you have, the more chances of luck are going to show up. I think there are five to six difference-makers. From a first-round standpoint, we have plenty of names that when someone gets to 21, we’ll feel good about picking them.”

Ballard also isn’t buying the idea that this year’s thin draft class doesn’t have enough good players in it.

“This narrative out there, that there are not enough players in the draft, that’s an excuse,” Ballard said. “There are plenty of good players in the draft. You just have to go look for them, get a little luck and try and get them on your team. There are more than enough good players in this draft. If we’re sitting there, and there is a player that we really think is a difference-maker, and he is going to really make a difference on our team, we’ll take him, or we’ll trade up to get him said. We thought Jonathan Taylor was a difference-maker, and we traded up to get Jonathan Taylor, but there are times that we just felt that whether it was the fit of the player, medical issues. … we just thought at the time, whoever was sitting there, we could move back and acquire two or three players versus the one player at the time.”

Jaguars

  • According to NFL Media’s James Palmer, Jaguars HC Urban Meyer had a “lengthy conversation” with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson that lead to Meyer hiring Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator, and what impressed him was what Wilson said about how Bevell was instrumental to getting him ready to play as a rookie. 
  • Meyer told NFL Media’s Ian Rapaport they narrowed their list down to Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, BYU QB Zach Wilson and Ohio State QB Justin Fields and put all three through zoom interviews to decide. 
  • Meyer did not tell Rapoport Lawrence would be the pick but it’s widely presumed that will be the case. 
  • Palmer also reported the Jaguars want to select impact players on the defensive line, offensive line, and at safety after picking Lawrence first overall.
  • John Reid of Jacksonville.com thinks that the Jaguars could fill their need for a playmaking wide receiver by selecting Florida WR Kadarius Toney in the second round of the draft.

Titans

Titans GM Jon Robinson said he’s looking to draft prospects who can come in and play on day one.

“I think as soon as those guys can contribute, the sooner the better,” Robinson said, via NFL.com. “And we’ve had guys that maybe it’s been injuries … but the quicker they can acclimate themselves to our program and the pro game, the better. And yeah, we want all these guys, whether it’s the first-rounder, wherever they’re drafted, the quicker they can contribute and help the football team, the better.”

Robinson also knows he has to make all nine picks count, as the team only has four in the top 100 of this year’s draft.

“I wish I had more than four,” Robinson said, via Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com. “But that’s what we’ve got, and we’ll see what we can make out of that. Can we turn four into five or maybe six? I have some calls to put in around the league with other GMs, just to kind of gauge their willingness to move around Thursday night and Friday night, and we’ll see how those calls go this week. … I think everybody kind of knows that we’re willing to shuffle around. We have historically been a team that doesn’t mind shuffling around pick-wise.”

“I am excited about the number of picks that we have this year,” Robinson said. “Whether we come away with fewer picks if we move up, or more picks if we move back, we’ll just see how it goes. You don’t want to trade back just to trade back. What’s the return on that move? And can you still get a player you want and pick up a pick in doing so?”

Robinson was also asked about the bust of their first-round pick last year, T Isaiah Wilson.

“I always put pressure on myself to get it right, and we’ve gotten it probably right more than we have wrong. Last year certainly wasn’t a great situation for us,” Robinson said. “But I’m proud of the guys in the process for the players that have come in here and have done things the right way and been productive members of our football team, and you can go down the list from Jack Conklin to A.J. Brown to Kevin Byard to Derrick Henry. Rattle off all of our draft picks and there have been a lot of good ones, and the ones I didn’t get right, or we didn’t get right, I am certainly not looking to do that again.”  

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