Draft analyst believes Colts will select a defender, not a quarterback, at No. 4

Oct 8, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive back Christian Gonzalez (0) against the
Oct 8, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive back Christian Gonzalez (0) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Indianapolis Colts are expected to draft a quarterback, one analyst predicts Indy will select a defender with the fourth pick of the draft.

The Indianapolis Colts must find a quarterback this offseason. While there’s a chance that Indy could go acquire Lamar Jackson in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, the most common expectation is that Indy will select a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. Indianapolis currently has the No. 4 overall pick, and could even move up to No. 3, so Indy could land one of the top four quarterbacks in this draft class.

However, everyone isn’t entirely convinced that the Colts will leave the first round of the draft with a quarterback. In a recent mock draft by PFF, Brad Spielberger predicted that Indianapolis selects a defender with its No. 4 pick. Spielberger had CJ Stroud and Bryce Young going off the board in the first two picks, then predicted that the Detroit Lions would trade up from No. 6 to No. 3 and select Anthony Richardson.

That means that by time the Colts get on the clock at No. 4, three quarterbacks would already be off the board. Indy could either make it four by selecting Will Levis, or select another player that addresses a different need. Spielberger projects Indy selecting Oregon cornerback, Christian Gonzalez.

Colts select Christian Gonzalez in latest mock draft

We recently looked at the possibility of Indy selecting the best player available like Will Anderson Jr. over the QB4 of the draft, but Spielberger believes Gonzalez make more sense for Indianapolis than Anderson. While Will Anderson Jr. may be the better prospect, Indy’s need at corner is more severe than the team’s need for defensive linemen.

The Colts have Kwity Paye and recently signed Samson Ebukam. However, at corner, the team just traded away Stephon Gilmore, and really only have Isaiah Rodgers Sr. and Dallis Flowers at the outside corner spots. That’s why Spielberger sees Indy selecting Gonzalez, who Spielberger says “was built in a lab to be an NFL cornerback.”

Christian Gonzalez certainly has the tools and traits to be a lockdown corner in the NFL, and could immediately help out the Colts. However, the pick still may not go over well if Indy doesn’t have any concrete plans for the quarterback position. While not drafting a quarterback that the team doesn’t believe in makes sense, it still would be really tough for the franchise to sell the fans on the idea of Gardner Minshew starting all of next season at quarterback.

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