Colts’ latest roster shuffle brings an end to Jacob Eason era

Jacob Eason, Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jacob Eason, Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

When the Indianapolis Colts drafted Jacob Eason in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, many thought Chris Ballard got a steal. A former top recruit with arguably the best arm in college football in terms of pure velocity, Eason checked a ton of boxes teams look for when evaluating quarterbacks.

The Colts did trade for Carson Wentz in the offseason, and with his awful 2020 season on his resume, Eason swiftly was thrust into one of the most important backup jobs in the league. Unfortunately, he did basically nothing to hold on to that job, as evidenced by some of the roster moves Ballard made.

Ballard drafted Texas star Sam Ehlinger in the sixth round of the 2021 Draft and added a veteran with some starting experience in Brett Hundley.

Just weeks after Eason was deactivated and made the No. 3 quarterback behind Hundley, Ballard officially called time on the disappointing Eason era.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Colts added Ehlinger and kicker Michael Badgley to the active roster, putting Parris Campbell on IR and waiving Eason as a result. Eason could eventually revert to the practice squad, but any team has the chance to snatch him away from Indianapolis for the next 24 hours.

The Colts ended the Jacob Eason era with their latest roster move.

At 6-5 and 230 pounds, Eason’s mortar tower of a right arm helped him get drafted despite sitting out almost two full seasons before transferring to Washington. He lacked some of the refinement needed to become a high-end pro quarterback, but with Frank Reich as his coach, things would surely improve, right?

Wrong! Things came apart due to the fact that Eason was incredibly raw. Outside of some deep throws, he’s not a very accurate passer. Combined with a lack of mobility and an inability to quickly process the entire field and get the ball out as fast as possible, it makes sense as to why Reich made the move.

Eason threw just five passes with Indianapolis, completing two and watching one get picked off.

Eason will likely get another job elsewhere at some point in the next few weeks. When someone is that young with those physical gifts, he’ll get a second chance. Unfortunately, being a top recruit and college star doesn’t always translate to the pros, and Eason found that out the hard way on Tuesday.

Eason’s story has played out dozens of times in the NFL. The hotshot recruit comes into the league with tons of hype and a tremendous arm, but he can never seem to click in the pros. Ehlinger’s mobility and Hundley’s experience overrode Eason’s arm and strong preseason in this case, and this could bring about the end of his days with the Colts.