The Indianapolis Colts saw their quarterbacks room depleted when Philip Rivers retired and Jacoby Brissett hit free agency (and then signed with the Miami Dolphins).
Jacob Eason, for a little while, was the only rostered QB alongside undrafted free agent Jalen Morton, which is pretty insane to think about since he’s yet to take an NFL snap after being taken in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Then came the Carson Wentz trade.
This past weekend, Indy added to their group of signal callers when they selected a QB for the second time in as many years after not drafting one at all between 2013-2019. Welcome to Indianapolis, Sam Ehlinger!
The Colts picked up the former Texas Longhorns star in the sixth round of the 2021 draft, which certainly has fans asking a few questions.
What does the Colts picking Sam Ehlinger mean for Jacob Eason?
When you look at the college careers of these guys side by side, it’s really not even close. Ehlinger is one of the greatest quarterbacks in Texas history. Eason played one sub-par season at Georgia before transferring to Washington, where he largely underwhelmed again.
Here are the numbers:
- Ehlinger across 46 games at Texas: 62.5% completion, 11,436 passing yards, 94 touchdowns, 27 interceptions, 7.7 yards per attempt
- Eason across 29 games at Georgia/Washington: 59.8% completion, 5,590 passing yards, 39 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 7.1 yards per attempt
But Ehlinger was also a monster on the ground, racking up 1,903 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns with his legs. Eason isn’t much of a runner. He’s more like your traditional pocket passer.
On the flip side, Eason is the more refined prospect. He has a rocket arm and stands at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds. He can throw outside the numbers. He can hit receivers in stride deep down the field.
Ehlinger’s arm isn’t anywhere close to Eason’s and scouts aren’t exactly a fan of his mechanics and decision-making, which tells the story of his draft slide. Then again, he’s certainly a smart football player given he was a starter at a rock solid Power 5 school for three seasons.
Thus far, the Colts have liked what they’ve seen from Eason in practice. He was drafted with the Colts knowing it would be a project of sorts to get him ready to play QB at the next level. Right now, he’s penciled in as the backup behind Carson Wentz, and that won’t change unless Ehlinger (or Morton) manage to blow the coaching staff away.
At the very least, this will create some good old competition in training camp and diversify the quarterbacks room in terms of playing styles and knowledge. If that’s what the Colts were going for in their quest to help out Wentz, then they should be pleased with their decision.
As for Eason, expect him to continue to make strides. He’s liked by the organization and he’s got the tools that translate to today’s game. Ehlinger will have his work cut out for him if he wants to supplant Eason on the depth chart.