Latest On Colts’ QB Situation
With a month left until the 2023 draft, the teams at the top of the board are increasingly turning their attention to this year’s class of prospects. That includes quarterback position for several teams looking to finish in the top five — like the Colts — that are in an interesting situation.
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Indianapolis holds fourth overall pick, which has led to widespread belief that they will draft a quarterback with that pick. They have a vacancy at the top of the depth chart after their experiment in 2022 Matt Ryan failed and resulted in the veteran’s release. The Colts have since signed Gardner Minshew in a move that reunites him with the head coach Shane Steichen, However, the latter confirmed that a backup role awaits him with his new team.
“Right now he’s obviously coming in to just compete and be the best he can be, you know, and that’s exactly where we’re going.” said Steichen when asked if Minshew could compete for the vacant entry-level job. “This is where we feel right now and that’s his role now” (h/t Brenna White from NFL.com).
Minshew signed a one-year contract valued at a maximum of $5.5 million and gave the Colts a No. 2 option with 24 starts and 32 appearances to his name. However, it has long been expected that the team’s Week 1 starter in 2023 will be the Signal Caller, who will be drafted with his best pick. Along those lines, however, The Athletic’s Zak Keefer notes that the Colts are “pretty strongly” convinced there isn’t an inevitable franchise QB in the 2023 class (Twitter shortcut).
With the quarterback-needy Panthers and Texans set to pick first and second, respectively, there’s a big chance for both Bryce Young And CJ Stroud will be off the board before the Colts’ pick. The other top options at the position, Will Levis And Anthony Richardson, are generally considered more volatile prospects in terms of their ability to successfully transition to the NFL. Given the lack of attractive options Indianapolis is likely to have under the middle, the team could be steered in an unexpected move.
Colleague Keffer James Boyd suggests the Colts might consider drafting the best available player at No. 4 and reserving their QB pursuits for later in the draft (subscription required). A number of high-end defenders will be on the board provided Carolina and Houston take on Young and Stroud in one order or another, so Indianapolis could be well-positioned to bolster their lineup that side of the ball. Her next pick is at No. 35, which Boyd says may be too low for the team to secure Hendon hookerthe next best passer-by.
For that reason, Boyd points out that if the Colts aren’t confident in the early picks of Levis or Richardson, a tradedown from fourth overall pick is possible. Hooker, recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture, is of course at his own risk, which will make the Colts’ assessments and plans at the QB spot a key storyline in the coming weeks.