Are the Colts certain that drafting a quarterback with the 13th pick is the right move for the future, given the deep amounts of talent at other positions?
The number of possible options for the Colts to address the quarterback position only increases as the offseason rages on. Left and right, it seems that another possibility pops up as the potential suitor for the job in 2020.
From drafting a potential franchise quarterback, whichever round that might be, to the steadily increasing amount of proven veterans waiting in the wings of free agency, the Colts’ biggest problem at this particular moment is there might just be too many options. However, one can be taken off of the list. Here’s why it’d be in the Colts’ best interest NOT to draft a quarterback with their first-round pick.
Are they sure their quarterback will be at 13? Likely not.
One of the most popular decisions for the team’s future quarterback is to strike early and select a franchise talent in the first round with their 13th pick. Successful college players like Justin Herbert out of Oregon and Utah State’s Jordan Love have been the front-runners for the Colts among the general population, with the idea only magnified as reports came out from the Senior Bowl of their impressive performances.
Regardless, it isn’t certain that one or even both of them will still be available by the time the 13th pick rolls around. When assessing the needs for the 12 teams ahead of the Colts in the first round, anywhere from three to five teams are in need of a franchise quarterback.
It’s all but confirmed that Joe Burrow will go to Cincinnati with the first pick and Tua Tagovailoa will be a top five pick. That only leaves Herbert and Love left after only the fifth pick. The LA Chargers, after moving on from Phillip Rivers, are in the works to draft a QB as well.
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Herbert seems to be the consensus third best QB among the four. This leaves Jordan Love. There’s a possibility that he falls to the 13th pick, but sitting right behind LA in the seventh slot is another quarterback-needy team, the Carolina Panthers.
It’s uncertain what the future holds with Cam Newton, however, Love could be the move for the Panthers if they were to move on. This leaves the Colts with Jake Fromm as the next best QB talent; the Georgia product isn’t projected anywhere higher than in the early 20s of the first round. This leaves the Colts with no option good enough at quarterback to use with the 13th pick.
Let’s look at the scenario where Carolina keeps Newton and doesn’t draft Love with their pick. This leaves Love likely to fall to the Colts, given that the Las Vegas Raiders don’t select him to replace the average Derek Carr as they move cities.
Even so, is Love truly the franchise QB that the Colts are looking to build with for the next decade?
More importantly, is he really that much better than Fromm and Washington’s Jacob Eason that the team is willing to use their 13th pick on him?
That question is a debatable one. Eason definitely has the talent to become a franchise quarterback and has been often mentioned as the Colts’ second round selection, with either the second or 12th pick in that round. Is Love truly good enough to be worthy of the 13th pick if they can land a similar player in a later round? It definitely opens the door to grab a potential star at 13 at another position of need.
Ballard believes in the best players he can get…other positions of need have better players!
Chris Ballard’s belief in always adding the best player he can in any situation certainly carries over to the situation at the 13th pick. Another question needs to be raised:
Is the best player available at 13 a quarterback? Will the team ultimately be better in drafting a different position?
This is a very fair question and one that needs to be discussed. Given Ballard’s typical draft strategy, is a quarterback going to be a better pick than, say, a wide receiver or a defensive lineman?
It seems that it might not. The 2020 draft class hosts possibly one of the greatest wide receiver classes in NFL history, led by CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. Given the sheer amount of wide receiver talent, the probability is higher that a receiver will be a better pick than quarterback solely based on the number of players that will be available for the Colts by the time they are on the clock.
Top talents like Jeudy, Lamb, and Alabama’s Henry Ruggs, the consensus top three receivers in the draft, might all still be available to the Colts at 13. Only one team picking before the Colts, the Raiders with the 12th pick, have a need for a receiver. In contrast, a minimum of 3 teams, possibly more, that pick before the Colts are in need of a quarterback. It’s clear that the options will certainly be better for the Colts if drafting a wide receiver.
To look at the defensive side of the draft, the same situation occurs when looking at defensive talents at 13 in comparison to quarterbacks. Defensive end Chase Young will be a top-3 pick. However, Auburn’s Derrick Brown, South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, and LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson will all likely be available for the Colts at 13, all of whom possess the talents to be centerpieces for the Colts’ defensive line in the future.
Given the amount of defensive options for the team at 13, it isn’t the smartest idea to take that chance on a QB when the number of impact players at other positions sit waiting.