The Indianapolis Colts could use their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to select a potential franchise quarterback, but their playoff berth last season makes it difficult to accomplish that goal. Why? Indianapolis is not in a position to have a shot at anywhere close to the best quarterbacks in this very accomplished class.
If you’re not getting Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, you’re probably out of luck. And with the Colts at No. 21, they’re expected to miss out on Mac Jones, too. Out of those four, Lawrence and Wilson seem to be the consensus most talented NFL-ready signal callers. Since Lawrence isn’t happening for Indy, let’s take a look at Wilson.
The young gunslinger completely set the college football world on fire in his final season in Provo, averaging an insane 11 yards per attempt while completing 73.5% of his passes. He also threw 33 touchdowns while getting picked off just three times. His impeccable arm talent and cavalier style of play made him one of the most fun players to watch in all of college football.
Wilson is definitely not sticking around to when the Colts will be picking, as the New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons, picking second and fourth in the draft, are in need of an upgrade over Sam Darnold or a potential successor to Matt Ryan.
If Wilson is to wear blue and white in the pros, Indianapolis will need to get on the phone with a team like Atlanta and hammer out a potentially seismic deal that gives the Colts a quarterback they can build around for the next few years. Luckily, given the direction both the Colts and Falcons are trending in, a trade isn’t so farfetched.
This draft day trade could help the Colts land Zach Wilson.
The Falcons still have Ryan playing well under center and signed for the next few years. While there is valid reasoning behind letting new head coach Arthur Smith pick “his guy” in the draft, making this trade allows Atlanta to patch up one of the many holes on this roster while fixing their biggest issue by getting a young, impact cornerback in Ya-Sin.
With Drew Brees all but certainly retiring in New Orleans, Carolina still in flux at quarterback, and Tampa Bay potentially losing key contributors to free agency, Atlanta could improve in a wide-open NFC South. By trading down and letting Ryan lead the charge once more, Atlanta could end up competing for a division title sooner rather than later.
Why would the Colts do this trade?
Is the No. 21 pick really going to land you a no-doubt, impact starter on a roster as deep as this? With an immobile Philip Rivers under center, Indianapolis still was able to compete for a division title and make it to the postseason. With a young, Pro Bowl-level arm talent in Wilson that could allow Reich to be more creative on offense, the Colts could be even more productive in 2021.
After all, GM Chris Ballard does his best work in the middle rounds.
With the Tennessee Titans still reeling after losing Smith, the mastermind of their tremendous offense for the last two seasons, the Colts have a golden opportunity to take control of this division for years to come. With Wilson’s ability to sling it deep and throw on the move, the Colts could be set up nicely for a decade if they can trade up and grab him.