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Chris Ballard stuck to the basics on draft weekend.

The Indianapolis Colts general manager started up front and worked his way back.

Along the way Danny Etling Jersey , Ballard found more protection for injured quarterback Andrew Luck, new and perhaps better pieces to fit the Colts’ revamped defense and finally some skill players to lower the burden on Luck.

The question remains – will it be enough to get the Colts back on track?

”You wish you could address every single need at a greater level,” team owner Jim Irsay on Saturday, the final day of draft weekend.

”There are areas we still need to strengthen up, there’s no question about that. But it’s going to be interesting to see just how much better we are. If Andrew Luck is healthy, and we think he will be, we’re going to have a pretty formidable football team. That’s the bottom line.”

The biggest strides were made in areas that have been problematic for years – the offensive and defensive lines.

Ballard indicated as much by repeatedly emphasizing how the offensive and defensive lines would be cornerstone features of the Colts’ rebuild.

So instead of making flashy moves on the first two days, Ballard skipped right over skill position players and bided his time until Saturday.

He wound up getting two of the best guards in this draft class, Quenton Nelson at No. 6 overall and Braden Smith at No. 37, and defensive ends Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis as part of four second-round picks.

It was all part of Ballard’s plan.

He added two receivers, Reece Fountain and Deon Cain, and two running backs, the speedy Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, with Indy’s first four picks on Day 3. Ballard closed it out by adding two inside linebackers in the seventh round.

Now all the Colts can do is wait to see how it all pans out.

”Our main focus was to get some young talent on the fronts and I think we did that Lorenzo Alexander Jersey ,” Ballard said.

TRADING PLACES

Ballard made his first and biggest trade last month when he sent the No. 3 pick to the Jets and moved back three spots. In return, he wound up with two extra second-round picks this year and another in 2019.

He was far from finished. Ballard made four other deals over the past three days and finished the weekend making a franchise-record 11 picks in a seven-round draft.

Indy traded the 49th pick to Philadelphia, moving back three spots and got an extra fifth-rounder. Ballard then sent third and sixth-round picks to Cleveland to add a fourth second-rounder. Then the Colts swapped fifth-round picks with Oakland, moving down 19 spots to get a sixth-rounder and finally traded defensive end Henry Anderson to the Jets for a seventh-rounder.

HE SAID IT

”I just feel like I’m just an overlooked guy. I’m really, really overlooked. Obviously being at an FCS school, that is one of the reasons why,” said Fountain, who played at Northern Iowa. ”I really sure that I’m the biggest steal of the draft.”

HINES VERSATILITY

Hines posted the fastest 40-yard dash (4.38 seconds) among running backs at the NFL’s annual scouting combine.

He could be a lot more than just a breakaway back. Hines was recruited out of high school as a receiver and also returned kicks at North Carolina State. Because of his versatility, he’s been compared with Darren Sproles. Hines has embraced the comparison and could be a major upgrade for a team in need of playmakers.

”I can catch the ball, I can run the ball, I can do kickoff returns and punt returns,” he said. ”So you can expect to see me in different positions and hopefully making plays from different positions.”

STILL NEED

Only time will tell how many holes Ballard plugged this weekend. There’s still work left to do.

Indy remains thin at linebacker especially on the outside if John Simon and Tarell Basham remain at defensive end. The Colts didn’t address the secondary at all, could still use an upgrade at right tackle and may be on the lookout for another receiver.


JAGUARS (12-6) at PATRIOTS (14-3)

Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET DeAndre Washington Jersey , CBS

OPENING LINE – Patriots by 9 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Jaguars 9-7, Patriots 11-5

SERIES RECORD – Patriots lead 10-1

LAST MEETING – Patriots beat Jaguars 51-17, Sept. 27, 2015

LAST WEEK – Jaguars beat Steelers 45-42; Patriots beat Titans 35-14

AP PRO32 RANKING – Jaguars No. 10, Patriots No. 1

JAGUARS OFFENSE – OVERALL (6), RUSH (1), PASS (17)

JAGUARS DEFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (21), PASS (1)

PATRIOTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (1), RUSH (10), PASS (2)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (29), RUSH (20), PASS (30)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES -Patriots are 3-1 in playoffs against Jaguars. Lone Jacksonville win was 25-10 in 1998 wild-card round when Tom Coughlin was Jacksonville’s coach and Pete Carroll coached New England. … Patriots have won past seven meetings overall and two straight in postseason. … Since Jaguars entered NFL in 1995 Patrick DiMarco Jersey , they are 1-10 (.091) against Patriots, including playoff games. That’s worst winning percentage of any team vs. one opponent (minimum 10 games) in that span. … Jaguars seeking first trip to Super Bowl, one of four franchises (Lions, Texans, Browns) never to get there. … Jaguars are making third appearance in AFC title game in their 23-year history and first since 1999 season. … Jacksonville lost 20-6 to New England in AFC title game on Jan. 12, 1997. … Jacksonville can become 11th team to defeat top two seeds from their conference in same postseason since 1990 when current playoff format was adopted. … Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone is 1-3 all-time vs. Patriots … Jaguars are 8-0 this season when QB Blake Bortles doesn’t have turnover and 4-6 when he does. … Jags have plus-7 turnover margin on road this season (including playoffs), best mark in franchise history. They have 22 takeaways in nine road games this season, most in NFL and most in single season in franchise history. … Including playoffs, Jacksonville’s defense has scored eight touchdowns this season, three more than any other team. It is most defensive TDs scored in season by one team since 2012 Bears. … In addition to being ranked fourth in NFL in opponent’s red zone TD percentage (43.8), Jacksonville also has best red zone scoring percentage in NFL, scoring TDs on 67.9 percent of trips this season (40 TDs on 56 drives). … RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and three TDs in last week’s divisional win. He is only rookie in NFL history with 100-plus yards rushing and three or more rushing TDs in postseason game. … LB Telvin Smith tied career high with 16 tackles and returned fumble for TD last week. He has 27 tackles, forced fumble and fumble return in his two career playoff games. … DE Calais Campbell led AFC with franchise-record and career-high 14 1/2 sacks. … DE Yannick Ngakoue was one of two NFL players (Aaron Donald) with 10 or more sacks (12) and five or more forced fumbles (six). … LB Myles Jack had sack, INT and three pass defenses in first two playoff games. … CB A.J. Bouye has two INTs K'Waun Williams Jersey , forced fumble and seven pass defenses in his past four postseason games. … Patriots playing in seventh straight AFC title game, a record. … New England is 9-4 in AFC championship game overall. Patriots’ 14 appearance rank behind only Pittsburgh (16) and San Francisco (15) for conference title contests. … Coach Bill Belichick is 7-2 all-time vs. Jaguars. … QB Tom Brady is 2-0 in playoffs against Jaguars, throwing for six TDs and no interceptions. …Jacksonville is one of seven NFL teams that Brady has undefeated regular-season record against (5-0). … Jaguars had NFL’s No. 2-ranked scoring defense. Brady has faced top-two scoring defense in playoffs three times (2014 Seahawks, 2004 Eagles, 2004 Steelers). He is 3-0 with passer rating above 100 in each game. … Brady led NFL with 4,577 yards passing and ranked first in AFC with 32 TDs. Both are most by QB at age 40 or older. … RB Dion Lewis has 507 scrimmage yards (126.8 per game) with 5 TDs (three rushing, two receiving) in his past four games, including playoffs. … TE Rob Gronkowski led all NFL tight ends with 1,084 yards receiving, his fourth career 1,000-yard season. That is tied with Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten for most among tight ends in NFL history. … In his past six postseason games, Gronkowski has 512 yards receiving (85.3 per game) and seven TDs. He is looking for his seventh playoff game in row with TD catch. … WR Danny Amendola has 190 yards receiving (95 per game) and TD in past two playoff games. … DE Trey Flowers had sack last week. He has 3 1/2 sacks in past two playoff games. … LB James Harrison has 11 career sacks in postseason, tied for fifth most in NFL history.

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posted Sep-14-2018 @ 05:59 by linchao