Chris Ballard: There is a difference between drafting a QB and drafting the right QB
The Colts drafted Peyton Manning with the No. 1 overall choice in 1998. They drafted Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall choice in 2012. That gave them 19 years -- not counting the one year each missed on injured reserve -- of quarterback stability.
Luck’s unexpected retirement before the 2019 season has made the position uncertain for the Colts. They started Jacoby Brissett in 2019 before signing Philip Rivers to a one-year deal before this season.
Rivers and Brissett both are scheduled to become free agents this spring.
General Manager Chris Ballard said the team will give Rivers a month to decide whether he wants to play an 18th season. Either way, the Colts don’t have a quarterback of the future on their roster.
“Go back and look at first-round quarterbacks drafted over the last 10 years,” Ballard said Thursday, via video from Zak Keefer of TheAthletic.com. “It is not an exact science. Everybody just thinks you just take one, and you’re going to fix the problem.
“Look, taking one will get y’all off my ass for a little bit, but the second that guy doesn’t play well, I’m gonna be the first one run out of the building. I promise you we get the importance of the quarterback position. But the difference between just taking one and taking the right one is the key in our minds. We’ll explore it. We’ll examine it. We’ll go A to Z on it, I promise you. That position never leaves my mind, and it’s something we want to get fixed. But also there’s got to be a little bit of timing and luck that comes into play when you get it.”
Of the 31 quarterbacks drafted in the first round over the past 10 years, only 14 have made at least one Pro Bowl appearance. Only five of those -- Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson -- have multiple Pro Bowls.