Colts to take eventual Matt Ryan replacement in 2023 mock draft

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - OCTOBER 02: Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - OCTOBER 02: Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts knew they needed to rip off the Band-Aid and get rid of Carson Wentz when this offseason kicked off, and they managed to accomplish that task by acquiring Matt Ryan in a shocking trade. That doesn’t mean that the quarterback position is completely taken care of, however.

Ryan is 37 years old this year, and his production with the Atlanta Falcons didn’t exactly make him look like a world-beater under Arthur Smith. Sam Ehlinger and Nick Foles will be competing for the backup gig, but that doesn’t mean that the pair of them will be a viable long-term answer behind Ryan if he starts to falter.

The Colts didn’t have a first-rounder in 2022 thanks to the Wentz trade, but they will be fully loaded for a 2023 class that features some very enticing names that could land in Indianapolis and set the franchise up for success in the next decade.

USA Today’s Luke Easterling had the Colts, picking 20th in this NFL Mock Draft, selecting Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. Knowing that they need to find someone who will eventually take over for Ryan, Levis has all of the physical tools to slide into that role with some promising upside.

Colts mock draft: Can Will Levis replace Matt Ryan?

After miring behind Sean Clifford on the Penn State depth chart, Levin transferred to Kentucky and immediately became a stud. Using his prototypical 6-3, 232-pound frame and high-level arm talent, Levis threw for over 2,800 yards ad 24 touchdowns while running for 376 yards and nine scores.

Levis will have no trouble throwing the ball deep downfield in the pros, but his skill at getting the ball to his playmakers with accuracy and speed is what really stands out. Running a simplified version of Sean McVay’s offense under OC Liam Coen, Levis was whipping the ball all over the field and befuddling even the best SEC defenders.

Levis was running a very simplistic offense in college, and he often struggled to deliver the ball accurately when forced off of his primary read. Levis will turn 23 before his rookie season starts, which some teams might hold against him. He also has just one year of outstanding production under his belt.

After a disappointing 2022 quarterback class that only saw one signal-caller (Kenny Pickett) picked in the first two rounds, 2023 promises to be loaded with star talent. Ryan is good, but he’s not getting any younger. Taking a quarterback like Levis from this storied class will give Frank Reich and the organization peace of mind.