Mapping out the first four rounds of the 2023 Draft for the Colts

Nov 13, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard attends
Nov 13, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard attends / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is near and it should be a big weekend for the NFL and especially the Indianapolis Colts. How will the early rounds play out for Indy?

The Indianapolis Colts currently have nine picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Indy has one in each of the first four rounds, three in the fifth round, and two in the seventh round. With trades, this number is subject to change. The Colts could trade up and move some of their picks to other teams, or trade back and pick up even more picks.

What's most important is what Indy does with its picks. The expectation is that the Colts will use their first pick, No. 4 overall, to select a quarterback. After they get their quarterback in the first round, what’s the plan for Indianapolis? What players and positions will Indy be targeting in the other early rounds.

Chad Reuter of recently did a four-round mock draft, projecting the first four rounds for the entire NFL. For the Colts, Reuter predicts that Indy will be relatively quiet over the first four rounds, because an early trade will result in Indy moving some of its early picks. Reuter is projecting a trade between the Colts and the Arizona Cardinals for Indy to move up to No. 3

The framework of the trade is the same as the 2017 trade between the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers, when Chicago moved up one spot for Mitch Trubisky. That means Indy will be sending third-round picks from 2023 and 2024 to Arizona, as well as a 2023 fourth rounder. That leaves the Colts with just two picks in the first four rounds, however, they do get their quarterback and another really good player.

Draft trade leaves Colts with two picks in first four rounds

The player that Indianapolis trades up for in the first round is Anthony Richardson, the athletic quarterback that some believe has the highest ceiling in the draft. Reuter explained how Indy’s head coach, Shane Steichen, was able to help Jalen Hurts develop and maximize his potential, and believes Steichen could do something similar with Richardson.

Since the Colts were able to hold on to their second-round pick, Reuter has them drafting Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo with the 35th-overall pick. Following the trade of Stephon Gilmore, and the loss of Brandon Facyson in free agency, Indy is really thin at the cornerback position. Bringing in a talented player like Ringo would change that.

After that selection, the Colts will be off the clock until the fifth round, unless Ballard finds a way to trade up and get in on the action in rounds three and four.

READ MORE: What does the perfect draft look like for the Colts?