INDIANAPOLIS – Frank Reich’s new team isn’t messing around when it comes to the most important position in sports.
And that’s not ideal for his old team.
With Friday’s blockbuster trade by the Panthers, Carolina now sits with the No. 1 overall pick, with Chicago moving back to No. 9 (the Bears received the 9th overall pick, the 61st overall pick, Carolina’s 1st rounder in 2024, Carolina’s 2nd rounder in 2025 and wide receiver D.J. Moore).
The new top-5 in next month’s draft like this: 1. Carolina 2. Houston 3. Arizona 4. Indianapolis 5. Seattle
What are the ramifications for the Colts with a change up in the draft order?
3rd QB Choice? Maybe?
With this new draft order, the assumption is the Panthers and Texans will each take a quarterback with the first two selections.
So, at best, the Colts will get the third quarterback choice in 2023. And that’s only if the Cardinals stay at No. 3 and take a defensive player.
At this point, it almost feels if the Colts want a QB they need to move up to the 3rd spot. Therefore, they’d be in control of the (new) first breaking point in the draft. If they don’t do that, they run the risk of another team with more draft capital (like Seattle at No. 5 or Detroit at No. 6) to move up to No. 3 and trade with Arizona.
Are there drafts where the third or fourth quarterback taken ends up being the best?
Without a doubt.
The issue here though is this move means the Colts will have to dodge two other QB-hungry teams (including one within the AFC South), with no control over those selections, in their hopes to take a guy they like.
For now, Arizona can treat that No. 3 pick like gold, dangling it for quarterback needy teams.
Friday’s move removed a team not needing a QB from the top-3 and put a QB hungry team above Indy.
And that’s not good news for the Colts.
Reminder of Colts Issues
What a bold, aggressive move by Frank Reich and the Panthers.
But another part of Friday’s news was a reminder the Colts haven’t been in a position to do something of this nature.
They weren’t last year and aren’t this year.
Carolina, which nearly made the playoffs with an interim head coach last year, had two second-round picks in 2023. So, even with this trade, they can still come back in Round 2 and make another pick for their rookie QB.
The player they gave up in this trade, D.J. Moore, is a durable and consistently productive receiver with a trio of 1,000 yard seasons in his 5 NFL years. The Colts haven’t drafted one of those in a decade.
Basically, the Panthers were in a much better situation than the Colts to put together such an attractive trade package for the Bears, even though Chris Ballard had direct relationships with the key Chicago decision makers.
The Colts haven’t drafted enough desirable players at the most important positions in football. And they haven’t planned for needed extra draft capital to make this sort of move, yet also still have some resources left over to try and support the rookie QB
Wait Until 2024? Call Lamar?
Are the Colts going to totally bypass having the 4th overall pick in addressing this long-term quarterback need?
That possibility has to be there with this move by Carolina playing into that.
If Arizona decides to trade the 3rd pick to a team planning to take a QB, that means the Colts will then have the 4th choice at QB.
With this move, it seems like quite the long shot Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud will be a Colt.
Will the Colts be content with more of a project Anthony Richardson or Will Levis?
If not, will they decide to further this massive decision another year and wait until 2024 to take a QB?
Would they try to find the spot to take Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker later in Round 1/2?
Does this predicament influence the Colts to pursue Lamar Jackson and the incredibly hefty contract guarantee that would come with that move (along sending two first-round picks to Baltimore)?
There are risks with all these decisions, but pushing this QB move another year would get several key Colts one year closer to being out of their prime.
When you have no future at quarterback, and you’re sitting there with the 4th overall pick, trying to address that is the necessary route.
Will that still be the plan?
Will the Colts trust the diverse QB background of Shane Steichen as other teams above them decide who will be there to select for them?
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