Doyel: Chris Ballard cashes in on trade, now must make it pay off in NFL draft

This is why Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has been so quiet: This trade, a shocker, as all the best trades tend to be. While NFL free agency was happening in other cities with such happy noise, Ballard and the Colts have been quiet for just this moment, when he could jump on a table and scream:

Tomorrow The Colts have to turn those picks into great players. Whiff on the sixth overall selection, and the Colts screwed up. But here’s something I want you to consider: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Colts get Bradley Chubb anyway.

You know Chubb, the North Carolina State defensive end we’ve been in love with since well before the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, when Chubb put on a charming show at his news conference and then put up monster numbers in physical testing. He’s every inch of 6-4, every pound of 270, and he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds. On the vertical leap he elevated 36 inches. In his spare time, when he’s not sacking NFL quarterbacks, maybe he’ll compete in the NBA Slam-Dunk Competition.

The Vikings took Patterson. Patterson’s career to this point has been a mixed bag. One of the top athletes in the 2013 draft, the Tennessee product never quite panned out as a go-to No. 1 receiver. He has not missed a game in five seasons, but he has never cracked 600 offensive snaps in a single season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has turned himself into more of a gadget receiver as well as one of the game’s best special teamers. Here’s what the Patriots are getting in Patterson…

Patterson has solidified himself as one of the NFL’s best kick-returners. In five seasons, he’s ranked as the top returner in terms of average yards per return three times. He’s never been outside of the top 10 in the league in that category.patriots_092