With the 2023 NFL Draft approaching, one analyst believes the Indianapolis Colts will trade up to No. 1 to select a quarterback.
The Indianapolis Colts appear ready to finally put the travesty that was their 2022 season behind them. Chris Ballard is in a prime position to get new head coach Shane Steichen a rookie quarterback that he can lean on for the next decade in the very winnable AFC South.
Given how the top two prospects in this draft are soaring above the rest, Indianapolis is widely expected to compete with the rival Houston Texans in an attempt to secure either Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s CJ Stroud. The top of the class is once again stacked with QB-needy teams, which might be enough to prompt a trade.
Todd McShay’s latest mock draft has the Colts trading up to the No. 1 overall pick, giving the Chicago Bears the No. 4 pick, the No. 35 selection, a fifth-round choice, and a first-rounder in 2024. While that sounds like a ton, Indy is doing so with eyes on the best quarterback in the draft class.
McShay belives that Indy will choose Young in this mock, with his gaudy numbers at Alabama beating out Stroud. Steichen has had success with both a 6-foot-6, 230-pound rocket launcher and a 6-foot-1 mobile quarterback, so adapting his scheme to fit Young shouldn’t be a problem.
Indianapolis Colts mock draft: Indy trades up for Bryce Young
This draft is reminiscent of the 2015 class when two top prospects Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota separated from the rest of the pack. Once again, teams will be left to debate if the pro-ready finished product in Stroud or the upside play in Young is the better option.
Young is a historic outlier for size at the quarterback position, as his 6-foot-0, 194-pound listing may be an exaggeration on both fronts. However, he excels in nearly every other area of quarterback play. With tremendous arm talent and good processing skills, Young should start as a rookie.
Steichen has shown an ability to adapt his offense to his quarterback’s skillset, as he was chucking bombs with Justin Herbert while utilizing Jalen Hurts’ legs quite frequently. Young’s scrambling ability, accuracy, and ability to make plays on the move can all be accentuated in a Steichen offense.
In an AFC that is getting more difficult than ever to win due to the parade of very skilled quarterbacks that are fighting for space, Indianapolis needs to land their long-term signal caller. Getting Young will take some assets, but Ballard needs to pull the trigger.