At the end of April, the Indianapolis Colts must make a number of critical decisions. Yes, the Colts’ roster is loaded with talent. Of course, running back Jonathan Taylor leading the way. However, the offense has been highly uneven, and not all of the issues are the result of poor quarterback performance. Here we’ll look at three sneaky options for the Indianapolis Colts and their 4th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The upcoming draft is going to be a turning point for the Colts. General Manager Chris Ballard and head coach Shane Steichen are looking for a quarterback who can revive the team’s fortunes after the departure of Andrew Luck in 2019. The Colts’ previous attempt to replace Luck with Matt Ryan failed. In fact, Ryan was let go after a disappointing season marked by many turnovers. With the fourth overall pick in the draft, the Colts have an opportunity to select a promising quarterback. Sure, the team has made other moves in free agency, such as the expensive signing of former Pro Bowl kicker Matt Gay. Still, their main focus this offseason is on finding a new franchise QB.
Let’s look at three sneaky options for the Colts and their 4th pick.
“1) Get a quarterback. 2) Protect your quarterback 3) Draft and acquire guys to get their quarterback. The Colts in the next 10 years are going to be in several Super Bowls, especially after Tom Brady retires.”@ColinCowherd loves what the Colts are doing pic.twitter.com/Yrd1F2LvSi
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 22, 2019
1. Anthony Richardson
The Colts may have found their next franchise star in the form of a dynamic dual-threat player. New coach Shane Steichen, who previously worked with Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, is on the lookout for someone to mold into the role. Enter Anthony Richardson, whose exceptional athleticism and natural arm make him a promising candidate. This move could be just what the Colts need to break free from relying on recycled veteran pocket passers unless they opt to trade for Lamar Jackson. That, however, is not likely.
Right now, though, we’re not sure if Richardson will be available at No. 4. There’s a small chance he’s taken at No. 2. There’s a bigger chance another team trades up to No. 3 and takes him there. Because of this, we believe the Colts will trade up to select Richardson instead. Keep in mind that he has elite upside and game-changing athleticism. This is despite having only 13 starts under his belt. While there will be growing pains, Richardson’s potential is undeniable.
The Colts have also done their homework on Richardson and fellow QB prospect Will Levis throughout the pre-draft process. Both prospects have met and worked out with the team, too.
Richardson may be a polarizing prospect due to his lack of starting experience and surface-level stats. However, he is further along in his development than many would expect. Also, his rushing ability gives him a solid foundation to build on as a passer.
Given his similarities to Jalen Hurts, Richardson would be an ideal fit for Steichen’s offense and an exciting addition to the team.
2. Will Levis
It is evident that the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans will select quarterbacks with the first two picks in the upcoming draft. The Arizona Cardinals, who have the third pick and don’t need a QB, will determine the Colts’ next move.
The Colts have two promising players with high potential, the aforementioned Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, to choose from. While the Colts could trade up to nab Richardson with the third pick, they may also opt to stand pat at No. 4. This means they would have to choose Levis, especially if another team swoops in to trade with Arizona for No. 3.
Now, if Levis does join the Colts, he will find himself in a favorable situation. The team still has skill players like Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr., and Alec Pierce. Steichen should also help him succeed. The Colts just need to strengthen their offensive line.
3. Bryce Young
At one of the most successful college football programs in history, Young has achieved almost everything possible. In his two seasons as a starting quarterback, he has amassed impressive statistics. This includes 8,200 yards, 611 completions on 927 attempts, 79 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions. He won a National Championship in 2020, although not as a starter.
Colts head coach Shane Steichen is likely to use bootlegs and sprint-outs to change the launch point for someone like Young. This would allow him to operate without pressure. Take note that Young possesses a strong arm and can manipulate safeties with his eye deception. This is a priority in Steichen’s offense.
In reality, it is unlikely that Young will still be available at the fourth overall pick. That said, he would be the perfect fit for the Colts. Despite his size, the Colts and GM Chris Ballard may consider him as maybe the best quarterback option for the team. One possible sneaky move is to actually trade up to get him. This is especially since many expect CJ Stround to go No. 1 with maybe a non-QB following him at No. 2. Tyree Wilson or Will Anderson, Jr., anyone?
Regardless, the Colts are expected to come out of the draft with a quarterback who can start for them in 2023. It’s just a matter of whether it’ll be Richardson, Young, or Levis.
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