“Put Your Name On It!” – Colts GM Chris Ballard Went Nuclear On Anonymous Sources Who Sunk Adonai Mitchell’s Draft Stock

Ballard Colts GM
Chris Shepherd

You have to commend Chris Ballard for going on this rant at the podium on behalf of his newly minted Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Adonai Mitchell.

The former Georgia and Texas playmaker was expected to have a shot at being a first-round pick, yet he had to wait until Friday night’s second round to hear get the call at No. 52 overall.

Mitchell’s physical skill set and raw talent certainly merit a higher draft slot. However, the early run on quarterbacks, offensive tackles and wide receivers pushed him down the order. The one silver lining of sliding during the draft is that you often fall to a better situation. Indy was one play or so away form a division title and the playoffs last season — mostly without starting quarterback Anthony Richardson.

It stands to reason that with Richardson back healthy and an explosive wideout like Mitchell in the fold, the Colts’ offense can soar to new heights in 2024 and put them into the postseason amid a crowded AFC.

But Ballard didn’t let the big moment for Mitchell pass without acknowledging some of the nonsense that triggered his serendipitous fall to Indianapolis. The Colts GM went on a profanity-laced tirade about how unfair it is that anonymous sources blast the character of certain prospects every year, and how it can unfairly cost them serious money in the near term, not to mention hit them with a so-called “red flag.”

“Our typical league. Unnamed sources, you know, bad interview — that’s such bullsh*t. I mean it f****n’ is, it’s bullsh*t. Like, put your name on it. I I’m tired of it. We tear these young men down. These are 21/22-year-old men, and if people out there can tell me they’re perfect in their lives, it’s crap. It’s crap. This is a good kid, and for those reports to come out? Like I said it last year, it’s bullsh*t. I’m sorry. I apologize for the language. I don’t, but I do.”

The reporting in question, to me, is probably in reference to the supposed temperamental tendencies Mitchell had — alleged mood swings caused by diabetes that made him a chore to coach. That’s the essence of it.

WTF? Mitchell showed up often enough to haul in 55 receptions for 845 yards and 11 TDs last season to help Texas to a College Football Playoff Berth and Big 12 championship. Had Quinn Ewers not been so scattershot with his downfield accuracy, there’s a chance Mitchell’s numbers could’ve been considerably better.

Then, he tipped the scales at 205 pounds and measured at 6-foot-2 at the Combine. Proceeded to run a 4.34 40 with a 39.5″ vert. Athletic freakazoid. As for supposed “off-field” concerns, Mitchell loves his daughter to the moon and back, and maybe, just maybe, has his priorities in order?

More than anything else, Mitchell was pissed about how far he fell in the draft, yet still expressed gratitude to the Colts for finally scooping him up.

Between landing UCLA pass-rusher Laiatu Latu in Round 1 and Mitchell on Day 2, Ballard has done a doozy of a job so far in this draft. What’s ironic is, the very thing he’s raging against during his press conference is precisely why Mitchell is a Colt in the first place. Without these wild stories about his volatile personality or what have you, it’s totally feasible he would’ve been a first-round pick. In that case, the Colts would’ve either had to trade back into Round 1, or pass up Latu. Then, they’d either stick and pick Mitchell, or trade back a bit and hope he’s there.

It’s absurd how quickly things can change during the draft. More of my questions about Mitchell (41st on big board) stemmed from the frustration he showed on the field at Texas, and how he’d not really go full speed on certain plays where he wasn’t the primary receiving option. If he can lock in and be consistent for the Colts between the white lines, he has the raw ability to challenge Michael Pittman Jr’s status as Indy’s WR1. I’m rooting for him. What a dynamic duo Richardson and Mitchell have the chance to be in Shane Steichen’s system. Can’t wait to see it in action!

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock