Who should the Colts draft in the 1st round?
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts are looking to draft one of the top quarterback prospects.
News 8’s sports director Anthony Calhoun will be reporting from the draft in Kansas City through Friday.
The Colts had a disastrous 2022 season. Quarterback Matt Ryan had more turnovers than touchdowns, star running back Jonathan Taylor had a down year, and head coach Frank Reich was fired after the team started 3-5-1. Former Colts center Jeff Saturday took over head coaching duties and won his first game against the Raiders, but the team ended the season on a seven-game losing streak.
The team is starting anew in 2023. Former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was hired as head coach and the team has the No. 4 pick in the upcoming draft, with a glaring hole at quarterback after the release of Matt Ryan.
The Colts can go in a lot of directions Thursday: They can trade up to ensure they get their player, they can stay put and wait for a player to fall to them, or they can draft Jalen Carter, arguably the draft’s best defensive prospect.
Who should the Colts take in the first round? Here’s a look at the draft’s top quarterback prospects.
Will Levis, University of Kentucky QB
Levis started his college career at Penn State after a standout career at Xavier High School in Connecticut. He spent two years as a backup to starting QB Sean Clifford before graduating and transferring to the University of Kentucky in 2021. In 2021, Levis started all 13 games and threw for 2,826 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Levis also led the team with 9 rushing touchdowns. Levis’ numbers took a dip in 2022, with 2,406 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and 2 rushing touchdowns. He also missed two games with shoulder and turf toe injuries.
- Elite size and arm
- Played in pro-style offense requiring full field reads
- Athletic runner with goal-line scoring capability
- Inconsistent college career and accuracy issues
- Pro comparisons: Jay Cutler/Carson Wentz/Josh Allen
Anthony Richardson, University of Florida QB
Possibly the most polarizing player in the draft, Anthony Richardson was one of the top QB recruits in the country after a decorated career at Eastside High School in Gainesville, Florida. Richardson stayed at home and attended the University of Florida, where he became a full-time starter in 2022. Richardson threw for 2,549 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in 12 games. He also ran for 654 yards and 9 touchdowns. Richardson blew the scouting combine up after running a 4.43 40 yard dash (1st among quarterbacks) and jumping a 40.5 vertical (1st among quarterbacks), while also showing off a powerful arm during field drills.
- Elite size, strength, and athletic ability
- Will be a 21-year-old rookie
- Potential to play in a variety of offensive schemes
- Inconsistent college career and accuracy issues
- Pro comparisons: Josh Allen/Cam Newton/Lamar Jackson
CJ Stroud, The Ohio State University QB
CJ Stroud was a five-star recruit and threw for 3,787 yards and 47 touchdowns as senior at Rancho Cucamonga High School in California. Stroud backed up future Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields in 2020 before being named starting QB in 2021. Stroud was named a Heisman Trophy finalist after throwing for 4,435 passing yards, 44 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions in his first year starting. Stroud had a another great year in 2022 after throwing for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. He put on a clinic against Georgia’s top ranked defense (348 yards and 4 touchdowns) in the College Football Playoffs, but Ohio State lost on a last-second Georgia field goal.
- 2021 and 2022 Heisman Trophy finalist
- Threw 81 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions as two-year starter
- Prototypical size and arm
- Concerns about being a “system” quarterback and consistency under pressure
- Pro comparisons: Jared Goff/Sam Bradford/Matt Ryan
Bryce Young, University of Alabama QB
Bryce Young was the Gatorade player of the year as a senior in California after throwing for 4,528 yards and 58 touchdowns at Mater Dei High School. He backed up future New England Patriots QB Mac Jones in 2020 before taking over in 2021. Alabama lost the national championship game to Georgia during the 2021 season, but Young still threw for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions, resulting in him winning the Heisman Trophy. Young’s 2022 season wasn’t as good, but he still threw for 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions, while also winning Sugar Bowl MVP in a victory over Kansas State.
- 2021 Heisman Trophy winner
- Threw 79 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions as a two-year starter
- Played in pro-style offense that required full-field reads
- Durability and size concerns
- Pro comparisons: Drew Brees/Russell Wilson/Tony Romo
Vote now, who should the Colts pick?
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