With the fourth overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected Anthony Richardson out of Florida. Richardson was the third quarterback off the board, taken after Bryce Young (number one overall) and C.J. Stroud (number two overall).
The Colts signal-caller was off to a nice start in his rookie year when he suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the rest of his rookie campaign. In a recent re-draft by ESPN, Richardson wasn't even an option for the Colts to select because he was off the board by the time pick number four rolled around.
ESPN had the Panthers taking Stroud first overall (no surprises there), Richardson then went second overall to the Texans, and the Texans still traded up to nab Will Anderson Jr. so that means the Colts could have anyone but those three players.
With Richardson off the board, who did Indy go with instead?
Colts select Puka Nacua in 2023 NFL Draft re-do
"The Colts' quarterback need would have remained glaring had the picks played out this way, but Indianapolis was never nearly as high on Will Levis as some believed. Bryce Young is worth considering, but Nacua is more of a sure thing. He would give the Colts an elite skill player to pair with their eventual franchise quarterback -- whenever they finally land one. Nacua broke the NFL's single-season rookie record for receiving yards (1,486) and receptions (105). -- Stephen Holder"- ESPN
With the fourth overall pick in this re-do, the Colts go with the sure thing in Puka Nacua rather than a potential "meh" pick in Bryce Young. It's worth noting that Young was set up to fail in Carolina, as he had an atrocious offensive line but even still, Nacua flourished as a rookie, setting the rookie single-season receiving yards record with 1,486. He was a monster for the Rams.
If the Colts didn't get Richardson there, who would have been their quarterback instead? Maybe they can land Will Levis in the second round, as he did end up sliding to round two in real life.
In this fictional re-draft, however, the Colts go with Jordan Battle in the second round, adding to their secondary. Levis was still on the board when the second round concluded so perhaps he'd be the Colts' option in the third round or they'd end up rolling with Gardner Minshew or another veteran on the market last offseason.