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NFL: APR 26 2018 NFL Draft

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

A week from today, sometime during the 8pm hour, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will take the podium in Kansas City and say “The Indianapolis Colts are now on the clock”.

“With the fourth pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select…..”

The next words out of the commissioner’s mouth will have Colts fans across the country on pins and needles.  Will it be the long-anticipated and long desired quarterback that can turn the franchise around? Will it be a potentially generational defensive talent or could they trade down in order to accrue more draft picks?

Anything is possible with Chris Ballard as the decision maker.  He’s shied away from selecting a quarterback early in the draft his entire career with the Colts but now seems like the time where it’s now or never for that to change.  It seems like a foregone conclusion that Bryce Young will be off the board at that point, rumblings say there’s a chance that C.J. Stroud could fall in their laps but it seems almost expected that they’ll have their selection of either Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis.

“We’ve got to get it right”, words that Chris Ballard has said ad nauseam to numerous topics over the years, but it will definitely be true for whoever they take at quarterback.  Whether that’s one of the top four guys available or if they decide to roll the dice in the later rounds.  The Colts MUST get it right when it comes to the leader of their offense and future face of the franchise.

The Colts are quickly falling into the abyss of the AFC not only in terms of relevancy but in terms of being able to be competitive in a loaded conference of young, uber talented quarterbacks.  The Colts need to be able to hang with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence for the next decade or more and that’s not including Lamar Jackson (assuming he stays with the Ravens or another AFC team) and Aaron Rodgers (assuming he gets traded to the Jets) as well.  There’s also Deshaun Watson in Cleveland and the potential of teams like the Texans and Titans reloading at the position as well.

The competition will be fierce and the Colts need to get in the fray or be prepared to be an afterthought against the powerhouses.  It’s not just quarterback either.  The Colts have needs across the board and now may have added interior linebacker to the list if it wasn’t there already with Shaq Leonard saying on Wednesday he’s still working through injuries and doesn’t feel right yet.

Offensive line, wide receiver, tight end, cornerback, safety, defensive line could all use upgrades as well.  With nine picks currently, don’t be surprised if Ballard trades down at some point, maybe multiple points, in order to try and replenish his roster as much as possible.

The Colts need a facelift. The fan base needs some sort of hope to hold onto.  It’s a franchise that HAS to get it right a week from today.  Even if they aren’t competing for division titles for the next year or two there has to be something we can all collectively hang out hats on.  If there isn’t, this could be a darker, bleaker and much longer road back to relevancy than any of us are prepared for.

-Marc Dykton