“Big, athletic, vertical threat that we needed to add to our offense,” Ballard told Pro Football Talk. “It’s good because we actually went to work out Desmond, and it was good like Desmond had a great day and is an unbelievable kid. I think Desmond’s going to be a good quarterback in this league. The byproduct of that is we were able to see Alec Pierce work out. We got some questions answered. Wasn’t anything about talent, we just didn’t quite know how he was going to be as a route runner. We just hadn’t seen it enough yet. To be able to watch him run and see him move and drop his weight, we think he’s going to be a really good addition to our team.”
Ballard was asked if the second-round pick would start right away for the Colts.
“He’ll have to prove it like any player, like any rookie,” Ballard said. “That’s always the thing I love about the draft, as we draft and then everybody says, ‘Well, OK they’re just going to automatically. . . .’ No, they’re rookies. There’s a natural maturation curve for all of them. They’ve got to learn the pro game. They’ve got to come in and earn it. The one thing you don’t want to do is just stamp them. You don’t want to just stamp them. They’ve got to come in and earn their role and their spot on the team. Whether it’s on special teams, whether that’s in a three or four receiver. Whatever the role is and then earn their way up the ladder, which we think Alec has the potential to do. But now he’s got to go to work.”
- ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says the Colts were ready to take Pierce at No. 42 before trading down with the Vikings to No. 53 and sweating it out until Pierce made it back to them.
- PFN’s Aaron Wilson notes the Texans and CB James Bradberry were about $5 million apart on a reworked deal that would have accompanied his trade from the Giants. Now that they’ve drafted first-round CB Derek Stingley and signed CB Steven Nelson, they’re not expected to be interested.
- Texans HC Lovie Smith understands that fans would believe OL Tytus Howard would play right tackle after the team picked up his fifth-year option and drafted first-round G Kenyon Green, yet he added Howard can still be a great guard as well even though he is in the plans at tackle. (Brooks Kubena)
- Smith says the Texans liked second-round WR John Metchie’s toughness and envision him as a slot receiver. (Kubena)
- ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes that there was little indication as late as the week before the draft that the Titans were considering trading WR A.J. Brown. The player didn’t even think he’d be moved until the day of the draft.
- Ultimately, Fowler says the Titans just didn’t want to pay Brown’s asking price, while the Eagles did.
- Fowler adds the Titans were astonished QB Malik Willis was there in the third round and it made sense given their long-term future at quarterback isn’t quite settled.
- Willis isn’t expected to start as a rookie but he could still play, as one NFC QB coach tells Fowler: “Whether it’s a goal-line sequence or a run package, getting him on the field on occasion is a great wrinkle for your offense.”