INDIANAPOLIS – As the Colts are busy looking for a new head coach, they also face arguably the most important personnel question the franchise has seen in decades.
Enough of the revolving door and re-tread options.
It’s time for the Colts to finally get the bat off their shoulder and take a notable draft swing at a franchise quarterback.
As the Colts scour the 2023 draft class for their future at the most important position in sports, it’ll be very interesting to see the traits this new offensive staff covets at QB.
What are the most important traits the Colts should be looking for?
It’s ludicrous to demand or expect Lamar Jackson type running ability from your quarterback.
But the Colts definitely need to find a QB who can be some threat with their legs.
Outside of an occasional moment from Carson Wentz, or a shedding of a defender by Jacoby Brissett, the Colts have not had a true mobile quarterback since Andrew Luck in 2018.
Again, just the ability to keep a play alive, get out of the pocket, or be someone that needs to be accounted for in the read option game, are all benefits the Colts have lacked at quarterback.
Ability To Process
So much of the transition from college to the NFL involves an expansive adjustment to a professional offensive system, and handle the challenge coming from defenses at this level.
That’s where the processing element comes into play.
A quarterback who can properly identify pre-snap and know where the ball needs to be delivered is massive in creating a consistent arial attack.
As Peyton Manning has said, the most important job of the quarterback is to know a bad play is coming before it happens and get the offense out of it.
That means having the football acumen to master the offensive playbook, and know how to attack a defense when the pre-snap looks aren’t ideal.
Throw With Anticipation
What made Philip Rivers so successful for so long was having this attribute and even the one above.
“NFL open” isn’t “college open” so the ability to trust your pass catchers and the defense is monumental in executing proper timing.
It’s a common young quarterback issue to not fully trust it until that pass catcher actually breaks open.
But you have to find that because the windows in the NFL aren’t as open as they were at previous levels of football.
Proper Arm Strength
Sure, you would love to have the quarterback who can chuck it all over the yard and routinely take the top off a defense.
But I would argue the traits above, plus accurate ball placement, are more important to achieving a necessary of accuracy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, above average arm strength is still vitally important. You need a quarterback who can fit balls into the small pockets and test a defense vertically.
There was no more glaring issue for the Colts in 2022 than their inability to challenge a defense downfield.
And the lack of a fastball from their quarterback(s) was a huge part of that.