Gardner Minshew signing makes Colts QB pick at No. 4 even more obvious

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts will likely use the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on a quarterback that can potentially lead this franchise for a decade. However, in case they have some trepidation when it comes to making them start right away, the acquisition of Gardner Minshew might change the calculus.

Minshew signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract that helped him reunite with his former Eagles offensive coordinator and new Colts head coach Shane Steichen. Minshew is fresh off a fairly productive stint on a team that ended up going to the Super Bowl and narrowly missing out on a title.

Minshew likely won't take the Colts over the top, as he is the dictionary definition of a bridge quarterback. However, he is such a reliable bridge that he could make Indy feel much better about taking one of the riskiest NFL Draft prospects.

The addition of Minshew would give the Colts a player they can trust to start for most of the season in a year when very few are expecting a deep playoff run. With Anthony Richardson needing more developmental energy put into him than Bryce Young or CJ Stroud, the Colts could decide to select him and let him marinate behind Minshew for a year.

Gardner Minshew could help Colts pick Anthony Richardson

Richardson didn't even complete 54% of his passes during his final season at Florida, but those numbers were impacted by some poor play out of his wide receivers, an offensive line that was horrid outside of O'Cyrus Torrence, and a coaching staff that didn't take advantage of his talents.

While Richardson showed some impressive pre and post-snap processing, he could stand to sit for a bit as he tries to work out the mechanical issues in his game. Minshew has been able to operate an NFL offense at a high-enough level to get one more shot as a starter.

Minshew threw just 12 interceptions against 41 touchdowns during his two seasons with the Jaguars. If the Washington State alum and sixth-round pick was selected in the first round, those numbers would be shouted from the rooftops, and Jacksonville would have been heralded as savvy drafters.

Starting Minshew for 2023 before rolling over to Richardson seems like a fairly normal and unproblematic progression.

Minshew will spend 2023 out to prove he can still start and earn a second contract, while Richardson could get brought along slowly. It's a true win-win.

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