Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard spoke at his pre-draft conference and mentioned that the team would draft just as they normally do despite the odd circumstances. He also spoke about the possibility that the team would draft a quarterback despite signing veteran QB Philip Rivers.
“I’ve talked about this numerous times, you can’t force the quarterback position, especially in the draft. I think history has shown that. It has to be the right guy, the right fit, for our staff and our organization. So I don’t know when that’s going to happen. Maybe this year. Maybe next year. Maybe two years from now. I don’t know. And I’m not going to force it, much to everybody’s dismay. It might drive everybody nuts, but I’m not going to force that issue. When we decide to take one up that we think is going to be the future guy, that is the franchise (QB), you’ve got to be right. And I don’t want to discount Jacoby Brissett. Jacoby Brissett is still a good player. This was a unique opportunity with Philip (Rivers). You have a potential Hall of Fame quarterback hit the market that has history with both our head coach and offensive coordinator. So we are fortunate to have both of these guys on the roster, at the same time. As we go forward, we will figure out what we need to do at the position. For now, we feel pretty good about the position,” Ballard said, via 107.5 The Fan.
Ballard also believes the team would look into the possibility be able to add another wide receiver in this year’s deep draft class, but he noted that trading the 13th overall pick for 49ers DT DeForest Buckner was an easy choice.
“It was easy. I thought it was very easy. Here’s a 26-year-old, who has everything we stand for. He’s got high character. He’s a producer. All you have to do was put on the Super Bowl. The great players produce in the great games. Just watch the Super Bowl. That guy played his ass off. And he was disruptive the entire game. He’s durable. He’s got the character. He plays a premium position in this defense. It was an easy decision, easy decision. I know the 13th pick is a high price. But we haven’t made a lot of big moves like this. A chance to acquire a player of this caliber, with his character, I thought it was a no brainier. I held my freakin’ breath, praying that it was going to get done. I couldn’t be more pleased getting this young man into this organization…He’s a young guy. Premium players cost a premium price. That’s the cost of a great player and we are going to have some more coming up here in the next couple of years on our own team that are going to cost a lot of money. That’s the cost of having good players. At the end of the day, I thought the 13th pick versus DeForest was a no brainer.”
“Pierre was tough because he’s such a great kid and human being. But, at the end of the day, we made a decision that we thought was the best thing for the team, this year and going forward. Getting into Xavier, we have a coach, Jonathan Gannon, who has history with him, and also Alan (Williams). Saying that, this guy has been a Pro Bowl corner in the league. He’s only 29 years old. He’s got some unique traits. And we think we can get him back to playing at that level. I think he’s pretty hungry. I think being released by Minnesota sparked a fire in him. It’s going to be fun to watch him play with a chip on his shoulder. I think he can still be a high performer for us.”
- The Jaguars have reportedly had trade talks with teams regarding RB Leonard Fournette. (NFLTR)
- Mark Long says several Jaguars’ coaches would be glad to see Fournette go, but it remains to be seen how they would be able to replace his production.
- Former Jaguars beat reporter Ryan O’Halloran notes that from his experience, when the Jaguars make a player available for trade, the decision has already been made to move him and isn’t to just see what’s out there for him.
- Mike Kaye wouldn’t be surprised if TE Trey Burton, who was released by the Bears on Friday, ended up in Jacksonville and playing for OC Jay Gruden.
- Regarding the possibility of the Titans trading for a running back such as Royce Freeman of the Broncos, Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com believes the team would rather draft a prospect as opposed trading away a late-round pick.
- Wyatt does not think Panthers RB Christian McCaffery‘s record contract creates a “sense of urgency” to finalize a long-term deal with RB Derrick Henry.
- As for the Titans’ approach with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Wyatt believes Tennessee will simply select the “best player available” at a position of need.
- Wyatt writes that Titans OT Dennis Kelly will be given the opportunity to win the starting right tackle job with newly signed OL Ty Sambrailo operating as their new swing lineman.