What move could the Colts make with their current draft position?
The Indianapolis Colts are in a prime position to select a quarterback early in the 2023 NFL Draft after 15 weeks of football.
Heading into Week 16 of the NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts are sitting at 4-9-1, which is a drastic difference from what the team’s expectations were for this year. Many predictions not only had the Colts winning the AFC South but making a run for a Super Bowl.
The mighty sure have fallen. With an embarrassing loss to the Minnesota Vikings after leading 33-0 in the 3rd quarter, the Colts comfortably sit with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft.
Indianapolis is getting into a prime position to select a quarterback in the upcoming draft, and based on the other positions, they could likely land a top two or three quarterback.
How do Colts compare to the top five teams in the draft?
Sitting ahead of the Colts in the draft are the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks (via Denver), Detroit Lions (via LA Rams), and Arizona Cardinals. There is a 99.9% chance that the Texans will draft their next franchise quarterback with the first-overall pick. That is likely going to be Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who they have hopes will bring their team back to relevancy for the first time since 2019 when they won the division.
There could be a pair of Alabama players coming off the board with the first two picks in the draft. Chicago has a quarterback in place with Justin Fields and could bolster their defense by selecting the best player on the board with Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr.
This would bolster a defense that the team traded away for picks this season. Alternatively, Chicago could get a large return by trading back to a quarterback-hungry team. This would allow them to draft more talent and maybe take an offensive tackle in the first round instead.
Seattle and Detroit both sit in the same kind of situation. They have a quarterback that could potentially get the job done for the team with the right coaching. Will Pete Carroll decide to develop a quarterback at his age or run it back for another year with Geno Smith, who is likely going to be named Comeback Player of the Year?
Will Detroit keep going with Jared Goff, who has improved since the beginning of the season and was named their Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate?
The Cardinals locked up their quarterback to a multi-year extension that ties him to the team until 2029. It does not appear that Arizona is in the market for a quarterback.
What can the Colts do with the No. 6 pick?
At the moment, the Colts are in a great position because they likely will be able to select the quarterback that they want in either C.J. Stroud, Will Levis, or Anthony Richardson.
The organization could also decide to trade back in the draft for more draft capital and maybe land Richardson a few picks later as well. Another move is to draft the best player on the board and go quarterback in the second round with a talent like Hendon Hooker.
The question really comes down to who the general manager is and how they want to make an impact on the Colts this season. It is likely that Indianapolis selects a quarterback in the first round. It makes sense with how the NFL is operating. New coach, maybe a new GM, and a new shiny QB.
If Chris Ballard is to remain the Colts’ general manager next season, it’s going to be a mystery that I don’t think anyone will know what’s happening until that day. If he believes that he can draft Hooker in the second round, he may just take the best available player in the first round or trade back and acquire more capital.
How can the Colts move up in the draft?
The Colts currently hold the “advantage” over the Seahawks, Lions, and Cardinals because of the tie. If the Broncos, Rams, or Cardinals (remember the Seahawks and Lions picks are dependent on The Broncos and Rams) win another game and the Colts lose out, the Colts can slide all the way up to the third pick.
Considering the Colts end the season against the Chargers, Giants, and Texans, it is easy to think they could likely end at least 5-11-1. In a perfect world, the Texans beat the Colts in Week 18, dropping Indy down to 4-12-1.
Arizona ends the season with games against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Two of these games are winnable for the Cardinals, which are good for the Colts. Their projected record is 6-11.
Los Angeles (Rams) end the season with games against Denver, the LA Chargers, and Seattle. This Is a true wildcard here, but considering Baker Mayfield is playing for his future right now, any of these could be a win, but all three could easily be a loss. I put their projected record at 5-12.
Denver will end the season against the Rams, Kansas City, and the Chargers. This is a tough schedule to end the season and will likely lose all three. I project their final record to be 4-13.
Chicago ends the season against Buffalo, Detroit, and Minnesota. Buffalo and Minnesota are fighting for the top seeds in their conference, but by the time Week 18 rolls around, the No. 1 seed may have been decided. I would project Chicago losing all three of these games and finishing with a 3-14 record.
If the Colts were to finish the season at 5-11-1, they would be picking fifth in the draft. If they fell to 4-12-1, they’d be picking fourth in the draft this year.