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The Indianapolis Colts will have plenty of options when it comes to their time on the clock at No. 21 overall in the 2021 NFL draft, and general manager Chris Ballard feels strongly about their chances of getting a difference-maker.
While the consensus is that the Colts will trade back from No. 21 to recoup a third-rounder they gave up in the Carson Wentz trade, Ballard still feels like there will be a chance to grab a difference-maker where they currently stand.
He said there are about five or six of those kinds of players on their board in the first round.
“I’m not going to give an exact number here. From a difference-maker standpoint, I don’t have an exact number, but I think where it’s five to six difference-makers,” Ballard said in his pre-draft presser. “Then from a first-round standpoint, we have plenty of names that when someone gets to 21, we’ll feel good about picking them.”
If the Colts feel comfortable about where the board sits for them when the No. 21 pick arrives, it’s a solid bet that Ballard is moving back to the end of Round 1.
With needs at edge rusher and left tackle, the consensus is that the latter will have better players available given that its a deeper class. But there is also a chance that players like Kwity Paye, Azeez Ojulari or even Jaelan Phillips, which could entice the Colts enough to stay put.
It will be interesting to see what happens on draft night given all the ways the Colts can go about using the No. 21 overall pick, but it seems Ballard is comfortable with how they are projecting the first round to go.