The Indianapolis Colts had a draft class with high expectations in 2023, led by the prospect of potentially drafting a new franchise quarterback for a team with a rich history at that position. They also had plenty of holes to fill and ended up with 12 total draft selections when it was all said and done. Not all of them saw the roster, as usually happens with an NFL Draft class, but most are still in the organization one way or another.
This team filled its needs and did end up selecting that guy who is supposed to be the franchise quarterback going forward, taking Anthony Richardson out of Florida with their first-round draft selection, while he would end up playing a small part of the season after injuring his shoulder, the Colts had already become winners of the draft by taking this quarterback. However, this team would end up coming through with a major draft class and ended up taking some key contributors for this past season.
While the season did not end with a playoff berth after a loss in a win-and-in game against the Houston Texans, the young talent showed some major promise for the years that lie ahead. They picked up pieces on both sides of the ball, and now they have an opportunity to get another great draft class in 2024 to really fix this roster. But now that the season is at its end, it is time to give these picks a grade for their rookie campaign.
Anthony Richardson: A
Yes, he only played in four games this season, but man was it hard not to be impressed by the way Anthony Richardson balled out this season for this Colts' offense. There is clear franchise quarterback potential with this guy, the only question is how healthy can he stay throughout his career.
He finished his campaign with 577 yards, three passing touchdowns, and four rushing touchdowns all in four games. Richardson can be one of the best if not the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL when healthy, and the idea of him and Jonathan Taylor making things happen in the backfield is the dream of Colts' fans for 2024. He should be all good to go come next season, but he will have to make changes to his game to stay healthy.
Whether he needs to run less, slide more, change his style of play, or a bit of everything, staying on the field is the most crucial part here. His talent is not at all the issue, and given his sample size an A is the grade to give Chirs Ballard for this home-run selection for the future. This could potentially be a blessing in disguise for Richardson, with the opportunity to sit back and learn behind Gardner Minshew as many great quarterbacks have done before.
Sitting for a year or more has led to great success for players at his position. While the circumstances were not the best to do so, the situation is still going to be interesting to see how it unfolds in 2024.