The Indianapolis Colts made a big splash to begin the offseason when they traded the No. 13 pick in exchange for pass rusher DeForest Buckner.
They also signed quarterback Philip Rivers, so general manager Chris Ballard made this move with a win-now mentality in place.
Buckner is one of the best young pass rushers in the game, but will the Colts regret making this move?
First-round picks are always sought after, so should the Colts have waited and tried to fill their defensive end needs through free agency?
Who is DeForest Buckner?
Buckner is the former seventh overall pick from the 2006 NFL Draft.
He spent each of the last four seasons dominating on the defensive line for the San Francisco 49ers.
He finished the 2019 season with two fumbles forced, four fumbles recovered, 7.5 sacks, and 62 combined tackles through 16 games.
That’s some pretty impressive stats and his sacks were actually down from the year prior where he recorded 12 sacks in 2018.
Breaking down the contract extension for #Colts DT DeForest Buckner:
– 4 yrs, $84M ($21M AAV)
– $39.378M fully GTD at signing
– Fully GTD money paid before 2022 season
– No dead cap in final 3 years (2022-24) https://t.co/HYAs2u25xO
— Kevin Hickey (@KevinHickey11) March 17, 2020
The Colts paid Buckner as soon as he got into town, but from his stats it appears he was well deserving of the deal.
Indy did give up their No. 13 pick to get him, but Buckner has proven to be worth that pick.
They have a lockdown superstar defensive end in place for the foreseeable future.
On paper Buckner is well worth the first-round pick, but the Colts never know what could have fallen to them in the draft.
It’s never easy giving up an early pick in the draft especially when the middle rounds aren’t filled with as much talent.
The Colts may have traded away their chances of getting their quarterback of the future, but no one knows how the draft will play out.
Colts ‘never enamored’ with No. 13 overall pick in NFL Draft https://t.co/WBhd8lvhck
— Indiana Sports Coverage (@IndyCoverage) March 24, 2020
The chances of a top tier quarterback falling to No. 13 is quite slim.
It’s tough to predict where players will go, but the Colts felt Buckner was a better option than what they were going to select with the 13th pick.
Time will tell if that was the right move by the organization.
Was Trading the Pick a Bad Idea?
Many organizations treat early first-round picks as the Holy Grail.
The fact of the matter is you truly never know how the draft is going to play out.
The Colts were unlikely to get a top ten talent in the draft, but managed to get a top ten defensive end out of the deal.
Having the No. 13 pick is not quite appealing as having a pick within the top seven, so the Colts appear to have made a fantastic move here.
They’ve already filled one of their biggest priorities going into free agency by acquiring Buckner.
They have him locked up for multiple seasons without having to worry about paying him in the next season or two.
The Colts can now turn their attention to other areas in the draft and know that they have a superstar defensive end to rely on.
Losing the pick wasn’t a huge deal for the organization since any talent as good or better than Buckner was likely going to be gone by the No. 13 pick.