5 teams that could jump the Colts and steal a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Noah Compton
The Indianapolis Colts must be prepared to outbid competing, quarterback-needy teams for the No. 3 pick, but who are those potential suitors?
Ever since the Carolina Panthers traded all the way up to the No. 1 pick from pick 9, the Indianapolis Colts have since entered a mindset that could have them picking the fourth-best QB in the class. At the end of the day, the Colts could walk away with their QB1 while not having their pick of the litter, however, it's incredibly unlikely for that to happen.
The current beholders of the No. 3 pick, the Arizona Cardinals, seem perfectly content with either going BPA (best player available) or holding an old-fashioned bidding war for their pick. As far as Indianapolis is concerned, a one-spot move-up from pick four to pick three could allow a touch more flexibility, as this hypothetical change in draft order could be the difference in QB2-QB4.
What I mean by that is it has been heavily rumored in recent days that, with a scenario where Alabama's Bryce Young goes No. 1 overall, Houston could forego quarterback altogether with their first pick of the draft.
If that indeed happens, the Colts could end up picking from three QBs, potenially from No. 4 overall. However, if you've already tested fate by sticking at No. 4 knowing there's a good chance of getting the runt of the litter, why test it a second time? Indy could bypass a second wave of uncertainty (i.e., waiting at No. 4 even after Houston elects to go non-QB), by moving up one spot and securing QB2 of the draft. Here's a look at who they would have to outbid for No. 3 overall, regardless of scenario:
5. Colts must outbid the Tennessee Titans
The Colts' biggest inter-divisional rival, the Tennessee Titans, aren't the biggest threat to Indy, logistically-speaking, however, they do warrant serious contention of a massive trade-up, à la the Carolina Panthers just months ago.
The Titans have brought in Ran Carthon, a former Indianapolis Colt, to become their new general manager after abruptly firing their last GM, Jon Robinson, towards the end of last season. This firing was a likely due to a culmination of things, however, the final nail in Robinson's coffin seemed to be not paying AJ Brown as he promptly shipped him off to Philly on (2022) draft night.
The Titans have seemingly blown up their roster since Carthon was annointed, cutting roster mainstays left and right. With Ryan Tannehill still on the roster, and with 2022's QB3 Malik Willis set to take over, questions as to why the Titans would do such a thing are warranted.
First time general managers like Carthon like to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later, and bringing in a franchise QB to call your own sounds like a route worth exploring. It's an expensively steep requirement though, moving up eight spots to a top-3 pick. Don't get comfortable though Colts fans, if you're in your own end zone with a chance to take the lead, chances are a left-handed shovel pass could zip right past you as you watch your rivals celebrate.