Are Colts considering trading up in draft for a quarterback?
It’s almost April and the Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback is still Sam Ehlinger. There have been no signs of the Colts signing or trading for a quarterback either.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen Aaron Rodgers sign an extension, Russell Wilson traded to the Denver Broncos, and now Deshaun Watson traded to the Cleveland Browns.
The only quarterback news for the Indianapolis Colts is that they’ve had conversations with the first and second picks in the 2015 NFL draft, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. That’s not really a selling point if you are Chris Ballard and want to attract top-tier talent.
After the Watson trade, it seemed clear to everyone that Baker Mayfield would come to Indy. Even more when he stated that Indy would be his preferred destination. Yet, the Colts haven’t really had discussions.
Is Ballard making a calculated move here with both Cleveland and San Francisco to drive the asking price down for both Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo? Or did Ballard find someone at the NFL Combine that he likes even more?
It’s recently been noted that Ballard was not open to trading Carson Wentz before the combine. However afterward, he was listening and taking phone calls for Wentz. This could be the defining offseason for Ballard to save his job in Indy.
2022 NFL draft quarterback class
The draft is where teams will go in hopes to find their future. This year’s draft class has not been nearly as big for franchise quarterbacks, though.
In recent years, we’ve seen many quarterbacks come off the board in the first round. In 2021, the first three picks were quarterbacks, and five came off the board in the first 15 picks of the draft.
This year is by far much different. There is a thought that we could see three or four quarterbacks come off the board in the mid-late first round. However, they could easily fall to the late first or early second round.
Before the NFL Combine, it was Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral making the headlines. With Pickett’s hand size getting questioned and Corral not seeing much action since getting injured, Desmond Ridder has climbed the boards.
A few quarterback-needy teams went out and found a solution at quarterback this year, moving players down the board even more. Teams like the Broncos and Steelers found their solutions in free agency.
Other teams don’t want to spend a high draft pick on one of these quarterbacks. This leaves the Colts sitting at the 42nd overall pick, in view of drafting one of three top quarterbacks in this draft. Or, do they move up slightly and take one earlier than we all imagined?
Colts snag their quarterback in the draft
Ridder has surprised many since the NFL Combine. His leadership on and off the field would fit well with the Colts. Before the offseason, Ridder was viewed more as a backup, but that has changed.
In fact, Ridder is a speed demon on the field as well. You want someone that can throw and run, Ridder is going to be the guy for the Colts. But will he be there in the second round?
Another guy that everyone should be looking at is Corral. Do teams take him early with his ankle injury? He seems to be the quarterback that no one is talking about anymore. He could slide into the second round as well.
Something to really look at this year is the draft order. If a quarterback falls past the 18th pick, it could be the second round before they hear their name called. Picks 19-31 have an established quarterback and then the last pick belongs to the Detroit Lions, who may or may not move on from Jared Goff after one season.
If the Colts are to take a quarterback, I’d expect them to trade up to the 31st overall pick with the Bengals and draft a quarterback. This eliminates the chance of the Lions taking the guy they have their eyes on.
The quarterback under center for the Colts for the next decade isn’t coming via free agency. He’s coming to the Colts via the draft, and his name is Desmond Ridder.