Indianapolis Colts quarterback room, where we started to where we are now

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts have had a revolving door in their quarterback room and this offseason was no different. Let’s analyze the QB Room.

The Indianapolis Colts made a big splash in the draft by staying put at No. 4 and selecting Anthony Richardson, the, just recently turned, 21-year-old quarterback from Florida. While the selection didn't surprise many, some have doubted Richardson's ability to compete at the next level.

Despite the opposition, having Richardson in the fold is far better than what the Colts trotted out the last few seasons. Philip Rivers was supposed to lead us back to AFC South supremacy but fell short in the playoffs. Carson Wentz came and went after causing the team to miss the playoffs entirely. Then there was the Matt Ryan experiment which failed horribly; or not, depending on your perspective.

Indy's front office made some significant changes to the quarterback room this offseason as has been the trend for the past several seasons. Let's take a look at where the QB room started at the end of last season to where we are today, a couple of months before the 2023 NFL season kicks off.

Where Colts quarterback room started

The Indianapolis Colts finished last season in a loss to the Houston Texans in Week 18. This ultimately decided how the first few picks of the 2023 NFL Draft would be decided. Sam Ehlinger was behind center in that game going 23-of-35 for 209 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also rushed five times for 21 yards.

This was the third time that Ehlinger started in 2022. The first coming in Week 8 against the Washington Commanders where Indianapolis lost 17-16. In his first starting performance he completed 17 of his 38 passes for 201 yards, but threw no touchdowns or interceptions.

His second starting gig was in the following week when the Colts faced off against the New England Patriots. Inevitably they lost 26-3. Again, Ehlinger put up a measly performance going 15-of-29 for 103 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception.

Unfortunately, the bad quarterback play didn't end with Ehlinger. Ryan started 12 games last season but could never get the Colts going. He completed 309 of his 461 passes for a 67% completion percentage. He threw for a little over 3,000 yards which ranked 17th in the NFL among quarterbacks. He threw 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions to put the final nail in the coffin of his 2022 season and potentially his career.

The only other quarterback to give it a go was Nick Foles, the one-time Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP. Foles started two of the last three games for the Indianapolis Colts. He connected on 25 of his 42 pass attempts for 224 yards. With this, he threw zero touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Only of of these quarterbacks carried over to the Colts 2023 roster. Ryan was release and is contemplating retirement. In the meantime he is going to be an analyst for CBS commentating on the NFL. While he hasn't ruled out a comeback, it seems less likely as time goes on. Foles was released as well but not until after the draft, after Indianapolis couldn't find a trade partner for the 11-year vet. That leaves Ehlinger as the only hold-over for the Colts as they approach the 2023 NFL season.

Where Colts quarterback room is now

Now for the fun part. Where are the Indianapolis Colts now in regards to their quarterback room? Well, most would agree they are better now with a young prospect at the helm of their offense. For once in what seems like an eternity the team has an exciting young quarterback to cheer for in the hopes he will become the face of the franchise.

Before we get to the exciting topic let's review who the Colts have in the quarterback room outside of the obvious. As stated, Sam Ehlinger was the only hold-over from the 2022 season as far as quarterbacks go. However, the two other quarterbacks in the room will most likely outperform him.

Indy made a splash in the quarterback market this offseason by signing former Jacksonville Jaguar and Philadelphia Eagle, Gardner Minshew to a one-year $3.5 million contract. The Colts will get a year to solidify their quarterback room if Richardson isn't ready to go Week 1. Minshew gets an opportunity to prove his worth and maybe overtake the QB1 spot in Indianapolis.

Last season in Philadelphia he played in five games completing 44 of his 76 pass attempts for 663 yards. He threw three touchdowns and three interceptions to match. Twice in his career he has thrown for over 2,000 yards, both with Jacksonville. He also posted double-digit touchdown passes in those seasons as well.

Now for the main attraction, Anthony Richardson. Taken with the fourth overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts have high hopes for their rookie quarterback. Although he had mixed reviews from his collegiate years he has all the physical traits to be a dominate force in the NFL.

There isn't a large sample size for Richardson in college as he payed in only 10 games combined in his first two seasons at Florida. In his redshirt sophomore season he took the reigns as the lead quarterback and played in all 12 games. In that season, he completed 176 of his 327 pass attempts en route for 2,549 yards. He also threw 17 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

He also did a lot of work on the ground rushing 103 times for 654 yards. He scored nine touchdowns through the run game. However, Richardson impressed the most at the 2023 NFL Combine. He set the fastest time for a quarterback in the 40-yard dash running it in 4.43 seconds. He also had the highest vertical among quarterbacks at 40.50". Richardson also had the farthest long jump out of all quarterbacks at 10' 9".

During the throwing portion of the combine Richardson outpaced the entire group launching bombs down field effortlessly. If he can work on his accuracy and refine his skills he could be a dual-threat that the NFL is growing accustomed to. Under head coach Shane Steichen's tutelage Richardson is primed to have a stellar rookie season as long as all the pieces fall in place.

The Indianapolis Colts quarterback room is set for the 2023 NFL season. The competition is really only between Minshew and Richardson. It sounds like its not an if but when Richardson will start, so Minshew has to impress early if he wants a shot at the QB1 spot. The Colts are still in uncharted waters as far as their quarterback room but there is more optimism than there has been in previous seasons.