D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Colts agreed with 49ers on Trey Lance, labeling the QB with this honor

May 17, 2021 at 10:18 AM--

Last week, San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters spoke with The Athletic and shared several interesting draft-related tidbits, one of which was identifying the two drafted prospects who earned the team's rare "gold helmet" designation.

Heading into a draft, about 15-20 prospects earn the designation, which is reserved for those who are "exemplary" in several areas, including leadership and intelligence. Lance, who the 49ers selected No. 3 overall, and safety Talanoa Hufanga, a fifth-round pick, were the two who earned the designation from the 49ers and ended up being selected by the team.

The idea of such a designation is not unique to the 49ers. Nor is it a new concept. Several other teams do it as well. They just call it something different. For example, the Ravens use a "star" designation for the players they are in love with — regardless of what round they are projected to be selected.

The Indianapolis Colts use the "blue card" designation, and, apparently, labeled Trey Lance with it.

"Peter King wrote that (Colts GM Chris) Ballard said that when 'we're in draft meetings, we talk about a player's character at length, in terms of if he fits on our board," Guy Haberman explained on the latest Haberman and Middlekauff podcast. "'If a player meets our strict criteria in terms of his football character, he gets a blue card. We might have 10 or 12 blue cards in the entire draft ... and we want to pick as many of these players as we can.'

"A Colts fan noticed that in a Colts video, a blurry version of the draft room showed they had two players taken in the first round [labeled] blue-card players. Two of the players taken in the first round are blue card players — Trey Lance and DeVonta Smith were the two blue-card players that the Colts had on the board."

Haberman is referring to a draft war room video that showed the draft board blurred out, but you could still make out a blue card next to the names of the players selected at Nos. 3 and 10 overall, which were Lance and Smith.

"The blurry version of the draft board indicated two players in the first round were blue-card players — Trey Lance and DeVonta Smith," added Haberman while reading a Reddit post from a fan. "... If Ballard loved one of your guys, it's not the same as any random GM loving one of your guys."

That fan is referring to this video, and you can see the designation (further explained here) on the draft board at about the 5:12 mark. It would seem that the Colts felt the same way about Lance as the 49ers, handing the former North Dakota State star one of their most prestigious internal pre-draft designations.

You can listen to the entire Haberman and Middlekauff podcast below. The portion about Lance and the Colts begins at the 39:50 mark.

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