NFL experts have high expectations for the Colts 2023 Draft class in year one

Dec 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats cornerback Julius Brents (23) falls back into
Dec 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats cornerback Julius Brents (23) falls back into / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts put together a pretty good class in the 2023 NFL Draft, and analysts have high expectations for the players during their rookie year.

It’s safe to say that the Indianapolis Colts put together one of the best classes in the 2023 NFL Draft. From getting guys like Anthony Richardson, Julius Brents, and Josh Downs in their first three selections, to finding steals like Adetomiwa Adebawore and Blake Freeland on day three, Indy selected 12 athletic players that have a chance to be really good in the NFL.

The question with draftees, though, is how long will it take for them to be impactful? Some guys can come in and be immediate contributors as rookies, and other players require more patience, as they develop and adjust to the NFL. The case could be different for each of Indy’s 12 draftees, but overall, how impactful should we expect the Colts 2023 Draft class to be in year one?

According to a couple of NFL experts, the answer is very impactful. ESPN recently gathered a bunch of their experts and asked them which draft class will make the biggest impact in year one? Two of the 10 experts chose the Colts, Liz Loza (fantasy and sports betting analyst) and Jordan Reid (NFL Draft analyst). Indy and the Houston Texans were the only teams that received two votes— the other six classes that got a mention were named by just one expert.

Colts 2023 Draft class expected to be impactful as rookies

Both Loza and Reid mentioned four names for Indianapolis: Anthony Richardson, Julius Brents, Josh Downs, and Adetomiwa Adebawore. They believe these four rookies, two on each side of the ball, have a chance to be impactful contributors for the Colts out the gate.

Reid argues that Richardson needs to play early so that he can navigate his ups and downs and grow. Loza makes the case that Indy gave Richardson a “T.Y. Hilton-esque playmaker” in Josh Downs, and that the two can build an early connection as they try to help Indy’s offense become a productive unit.

For the defensive guys, the expectation is that Julius Brents will slide into the role vacated by Stephon Gilmore, and Adetomiwa Adebawore will rotate on the interior defensive line with starters DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart.

If that happens, if these four guys can come in and immediately contribute, the Colts have a chance to be competitive in the AFC South. However, the real determining factor will be the offensive line. The struggles of the offensive line was Indy’s biggest problem last season, and everything starts there. The Colts did add some talented linemen, drafting Blake Freeland and Jake Witt, and also signing Emil Ekiyor Jr. as an undrafted free agent. If one of those guys can help stabilize the offensive line, Indy’s rookie class can make a major difference.

READ MORE: Early Colts 53-man roster prediction following NFL Draft