Since the abrupt retirement of Andrew Luck in 2019, Colts fans have longed for the day that general manager Chris Ballard would make an aggressive move to put the franchise back on track. No more retreads, no more band-aids. The Colts have tried that path every season since Luck called it a career and each time they fell further and further behind the rest of the league.
If we want to be real about it, the state of affairs in Indianapolis reached a point where the Colts were even an afterthought in the lowly AFC South. That sentence alone would have been unfathomable to fans 10 years ago, but it is the unfortunate reality for a team in search of a way back to the top.
The only chance at getting back was to take a big swing at the most important position in the sport. Last night, Ballard and the Colts did just that when they selected Florida’s Anthony Richardson with the 4th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Anthony Richardson is headed to Indy!@GVOaant | @Colts
📺: 2023 #NFLDraft on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/D3EqkrKLy4 pic.twitter.com/Yjj1p4De2g
— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2023
It’s a high risk, high reward pick but one the Colts couldn’t afford to pass on. When Richardson was selected, he instantly became one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in NFL history. He has elite level arm strength, makes jaw dropping plays, can create when things break down, and won’t shy away from getting it done with his legs.
The accuracy issues are a valid concern (cue the obvious “you have to be accurate to be an NFL QB here” comments) but if you believe the scouting report on him and what Chris Ballard and Shane Steichen said yesterday, most of it is based in mechanics and can be fixed. That’s not to say it’s a guarantee, but considering half the reason Steichen was hired was to fix the offense and develop the next great Colts’ QB why wouldn’t you want a young moldable prospect with “sky is the limit” upside?
Hear from QB Anthony Richardson following Night 1 of the #NFLDraft: https://t.co/b11AicWfyC
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) April 28, 2023
In the AFC’s ever growing quarterback arms race, the Colts can’t afford to have a guy under center with the ceiling of Jay Cutler, Kirk Cousins, or Carson Wentz. That puts them squarely behind the likes of Joe Burrow and the Bengals, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, Josh Allen and the Bills, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, and Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars to name a few. Oh and don’t forget about that Aaron Rodgers fella that just joined the Jets.
They chose to take a swing for a quarterback that could become the next star in the NFL. They chose the prospect with arguably the highest upside of any QB in the draft and the one that fits best with what Shane Steichen is building.
Buckle up, @Colts fans… ⁰⁰Anthony Richardson can LAUNCH it 🚀pic.twitter.com/gopTRAj3XA
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 28, 2023
Like all franchise altering decisions, nobody can guarantee this will work. But for too long the Colts allowed fear to get in the way of taking a chance.
That all changed “with the 4th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft”. For the first time since that fateful day in August four years ago, Colts fans have hope. While hope won’t win any football games, and will be forgotten if things don’t work out, for now it’s enough.
Friday on The Fan Midday Show Stephen Holder, Tony Pauline and Kevin Bowen broke down the Colts path to drafting Anthony Richardson, discussed the likely timeline for his development, and examine what’s next for the Colts when the NFL Draft resumes.
Check out those conversations below and don’t miss The Fan Midday Show, weekdays 12-3pm Eastern on 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan.
Anthony Richardson Faces Major Questions In NFL Transition
Gardner Minshew Shares First Impressions Of Anthony Richardson
Colts OTA Notebook Week 1: Anthony Richardson Impresses Shane Steichen
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Colts Really Need Second-Year Jump From Bernhard Raimann
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Is Josh Downs Ideal Complement To Colts Wide Receivers?