With ’19 to 21′ first round grades, could Colts look to trade down in NFL draft?

The Colts very well could end up being a prime candidate to trade down during the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

When GM Chris Ballard was speaking with reporters on Friday as part of his pre-draft press conference, he was asked how many first-round grades the Colts had on prospects. Ballard mentioned that there were “19 to 21,” which in many draft classes can be considered a high number.

Recently, Matt Miller of ESPN pointed out that 15 prospects with first-round grades is a typical number.

So the fact that the Colts could be picking with four to six players still on the board that they deem first round caliber, could be a big factor in whether or not they trade down, with of course, there being other variables in play, such as which positions those remaining prospects play.

But also contributing to the liklihood that we could see the Colts move down is that in Ballard’s tenure as GM, when making moves around the draft board, he has been much more willing to trade down to acculumate additional draft capital.

With only seven picks in this year’s draft – only four teams have fewer – it’s not as if the Colts are swimming in draft capital either, and currently rank 21st in total draft capital value.

“I just go off history,” said Ballard about trading down. “The more picks you have the better chance you have to hit. Now, of course, you’re not going to hit on all of them, but it gives you a better chance to hit.”

Two of the biggest positional needs that the Colts have to tackle in this draft -and preferably early on – are cornerback and wide receiver, which also happen to be two of the deeper position groups in this year’s class.

At pick 15, we already know the Colts won’t land one of the top three wide receivers and it’s possible that both Terrion Arnold and Quinyon Mitchell are off the board. This is a realistic scenario that could lead to the Colts trading down, with the depth of the draft at these positions still allowing them to address either position, with players like Cooper DeJean, Kool-Aid McKinstry, Brian Thomas Jr., Adonai Mitchell, or Xavier Worthy.

I recently ran through five different trade down scenarios for the Colts, trying to get an idea of what they could accumulate using the trade value chart. Beginning with pick 18 from Cincinnati, the Colts could potentially add a top-100 pick to what they already have.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN recently went through all 32 NFL teams, deciding whether they should trade up, stay put, or trade down. For what it’s worth, he thought the Colts best course of action in the first round was to trade down.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire