INDIANAPOLIS – So the NFL Combine certainly shifted some things in how the draft pundits view the 2023 quarterback class.
Yes, the Colts remain a very popular trade-up candidate, even to the top of the draft.
But the name of Anthony Richardson is surfacing for the Colts.
Events on the horizon that will impact the draft starts with free agency next week, and pro days later this month.
The 2023 NFL Draft will begin with the first round on Thursday, April 27th.
Here is the second compilation of Mock Drafts for 2023:
ESPN.com’s Todd McShay: Trade up to Pick No. 1: QB-Bryce Young (Alabama)
McShay’s Analysis: Three of the top QBs worked out at the combine, but Young wasn’t one of them. No matter. He’s still not only the top quarterback on my board but also the top overall prospect. Young has elite pocket presence and poise, delivering strikes to every level of the field. If the Colts can figure out their offensive line issues, I think this could be a really good fit with first-year coach Shane Steichen. And even though Young wasn’t participating in on-field drills at the combine, he did have one of the more important numbers of the week: 204. That was his official weight on Saturday morning. He would still be the lightest Round 1 quarterback since at least 2006, as well as one of the shortest passers drafted since the AFL-NFL merger in 1967 at 5-foot-10⅛, but considering the concerns that he’d be down around 190 pounds, this was a big checkpoint for him on the road to potentially becoming the No. 1 pick.
CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson Pick No. 4: QB-C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)
Wilson’s Analysis: Since Andrew Luck’s retirement, the Colts have had little success turning to QBs nearing the end of their careers, and it’s safe to assume that owner Jim Irsay will be looking for the team’s next face of the franchise. C.J. Stroud has flown under the national-media radar all season, but some NFL teams will tell you he’ll be in the running for QB1, and his performance in the College Football Playoff semifinal game vs. Georgia showed that he can beat you with his arm and his legs. We also talked about this last week at the NFL Combine, but Stroud is impressive in person, and that will no doubt come across in his interviews with teams.
Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema: Pick No. 4: QB-Anthony Richardson (Florida)
Renner’s Analysis: If you are comparing Will Levis’ traits versus Anthony Richardson’s traits, Richardson has him beat out. And if you look at both of these quarterbacks, accuracy and decision-making concerns are both there for them. You are going to have to improve both of these guys in their consistency. So if you’re going to do that, do that with the one who might have the overall higher ceiling.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: Trade up to Pick No. 1: QB-C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)
Brugler’s Analysis: Projected trade: Nos. 4 and 35 and a 2024 first-round pick to Chicago for No. 1. The speculation during combine week wasn’t about whether or not the Colts will draft a quarterback, it was: Which QB they will take? And how much will it cost? The members of the triumvirate in charge of that decision each brings a differing perspective. Shane Steichen is entering his first draft as a head coach, Chris Ballard knows this could be his final draft as general manager if the wrong pick is made, and owner Jim Irsay is the wild card (as usual). Stroud might be the quarterback that’s the most comfortable choice for each person there. He is ready to compete for the starting job from Day 1 and his natural accuracy gives him a high floor as an NFL passer. (The Athletic’s Zak Keefer had similar thoughts from the combine.) Obviously, trading up to No. 1 is an expensive move. But if the Colts stay at No. 4, they might find themselves with only their second- or even third-best quarterback option available. That isn’t good enough for a franchise that has been compromising at the position since Andrew Luck retired.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: Pick No. 4: QB-Anthony Richardson (Florida)
Zierlein’s Analysis: New Colts head coach Shane Steichen just helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl with a quarterback (Jalen Hurts) who possesses similar traits to those of this athletic marvel. Richardson needs time to develop, but the Florida product has massive upside.
MOCK DRAFT TOTALS
In each installment of the mock draft looks we will total up all the positions pundits have pegged for the Colts throughout the draft process:
–1st Mock Draft Look (January 13th)
QB-Bryce Young (4)
QB-C.J. Stroud (3)
QB-Anthony Richardson (2)
QB-Will Levis (1)
Bowen’s Analysis: Hmm, I wonder if the NFL world thinks the Colts will take a quarterback in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. In our second Mock Draft look, Anthony Richardson’s eye-popping Combine has put him on the pundits list for the Colts. The debate over the three names on this list is fascinating. If you went strictly off measureables and traits, the pick would easily be Richardson, especially with how stringent Chris Ballard is on believing in that part of the draft process at other positions. If you were playing one game tomorrow, Bryce Young would probably make the most sense, but questions are there about his durability at 5-10 and 204 pounds. And if you wanted the ‘safest’ choice, C.J. Stroud is the guy offering the highest floor for the next decade. Once you identify the QB prospect you love the most, the trade debates will then have to be discussed. In both of the moves from 4 to 1 here, you have the Colts jumping divisional foe Houston at No. 2. While the Colts have direct relationships with the Bears higher-ups, the Texans have the better draft capital to offer. Did the Combine cement that 3 quarterbacks will be chosen in the first 4 picks?,
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