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Georgia TE Brock Bowers could be the key to Anthony Richardson’s development

AUBURN, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 30: Brock Bowers #19 of the Georgia Bulldogs scores the go-ahead touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the fourth quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indianapolis Colts have the No. 15 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and the team has plenty to build on after a promising 9-8 season.

The Colts used their top draft pick last season to try and solve the biggest need in sports: The quarterback position.

While the franchise is optimistic about quarterback Anthony Richardson, the former Florida QB still has work to do to prove he is the long-term answer.

Richardson exited early in three of his first four starts due to injury, including a season-ending AC joint sprain in the Colts’ Week 5 game against Tennessee.

The fourth-overall pick showed plenty of flashes before the season-ending injury though, accounting for seven total touchdowns in his four starts.

Already having Richardson on the roster means that Colts General Manager Chris Ballard does not need to use high-value assets on a quarterback this offseason.

So, what should the Colts do with their first-round draft pick?

According to ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano, the team needs to build around Richardson and expedite his development.

In a conversation with News 8 Sports Reporter Andrew Chernoff, Graziano said that the Colts need to add offensive pieces that will make life easier for Richardson.

“[The Colts] need to be thinking about building around the young quarterback,” Graziano said. “Do everything you can do to prop him up and make him successful. It seems like the first round, especially the top half, is very slanted toward the offensive side of the ball this year. So, while there may be needs on the defense, if I have a young quarterback I drafted in the first round last year who is coming off an injury and needs NFL-level experience in order to develop, everything I’m thinking is ‘what can we put around him to help him be successful?’”

One offensive area that the Colts can certainly improve on is the tight end position. The team’s leading receiver at TE was Kylen Granson, who caught just 30 passes for 368 yards and one touchdown.

Former Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is projected to be drafted in the early teens, near the range where the Colts are drafting.

Bowers is the back-to-back John Mackey Award winner, given to the best tight end in the nation. The All-American led Georgia in receiving for the last three seasons, and is viewed as the consensus top tight end of the class.

Bowers would instantly become the most talented tight end that Richardson has ever played with, and would add a much-needed element to the Colts’ offense.

While Ballard talked up the overall depth of the team’s current tight end room, he mentioned that the team lacks a high-end option.

“Do we have an elite tight end like a Kelce? No,” Ballard said. “But what we have is a good room with some pretty good players that all have a different skill set.”

Bowers could immediately provide the Colts with that high-end option that they lack, allowing some combination of Granson, Will Mallory, Moe Alie-Cox, Drew Ogletree, and Jelani Woods to fill in as depth behind the rookie.

When Chernoff asked the Colts GM what positions the team would be targeting in the draft, he had one thing to say.

“We are always looking to field the best player,” said Ballard.

Bowers certainly fits that bill, even if Ballard is happy with the team’s depth at tight end.

“He would fit great,” Sirius XM NFL analyst Kirk Morrison told Chernoff. “I just don’t know if he’ll be available at that time. We’re talking about one of the best offensive weapons. He’s just not a tight end. He’s an offensive weapon. He is, I think, going to light this league on fire.”

The former Bulldog was asked by reporters at his NFL Combine press conference what skill set he would bring to an offense.

“I feel like I can bring a lot to an offense,” Bowers said at the podium. “[I can] be a do-it-all all kind of guy. That is how I hope to be used like I was at Georgia. I feel like I can out-physical certain defensive backs, and outrun big and physical linebackers.”

For what it is worth, Bowers also mentioned that the Colts had an unusual amount of representation at his formal meeting with the team.

“They seemed to have pretty much everybody in there,” Bowers said of the Colts. He told reporters that there were around 15-20 people in the meeting.

Bowers could add another level of explosion to a Colts offense that showed plenty of flashes under head coach Shane Steichen and his talented young quarterback in Richardson.

The 2024 NFL Draft begins on April 25.

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