Prior to the draft, the Colts went to Cincinnati to put quarterback Desmond Ridder through a private workout. They emerged with a strong interest in his former Bearcats teammate, receiver Alec Pierce.
“Big, athletic, vertical threat that we needed to add to our offense,” Ballard told #PFTPM this week regarding Pierce, a second-round pick in the 2022 draft. “It’s good because we actually went to work out Desmond, and it was good like Desmond had a great day and is an unbelievable kid. I think Desmond’s going to be a good quarterback in this league. The byproduct of that is we were able to see Alec Pierce work out. We got some questions answered. Wasn’t anything about talent, we just didn’t quite know how he was going to be as a route runner. We just hadn’t seen it enough yet. To be able to watch him run and see him move and drop his weight, we think he’s going to be a really good addition to our team. ”
So will he be a starter right away for the Colts?
“He’ll have to prove it like any player, like any rookie,” Ballard said. “That’s always the thing I love about the draft, like we draft and then everybody says, ‘Well, OK they’re just going to automatically. . . . ‘ No, they’re rookies. There’s a natural maturation curve for all of them. They’ve got to learn the pro game. They’ve got to come in and earn it. The one thing you do not want to do is just stamp them. You do not want to just stamp them. They’ve got to come in and earn their role and their spot on the team. Whether it’s on special teams, whether that’s in a three or four receiver. Whatever the role is and then earn their way up the ladder, which we think Alec has the potential to do. But now he’s got to go to work. “
He undoubtedly will. And if it works out, the Colts can thank their decision to work out Desmond Ridder, who may eventually become the successor in Atlanta who fell out of the sky to become the Colts’ next quarterback.