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NFL: APR 27 2023 Draft

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

The Indianapolis Colts entered last week’s NFL Draft with the hopes of finding long-term answers at multiple positions while also finally finding the next franchise QB. Early returns would indicate they not only did that, but did so with flying colors.

A- to A+ has been the common trend from the likes of Pro Football Focus,, Sporting News, and Fox Sports to name a few. Most of those grades rely heavily on the high level upside of Anthony Richardson who, regardless of when his first snap as the starting quarterback is.

Conversely the B grades from ESPN and CBS Sports mainly focus on the draft analyst’s preference of Will Levis over Richardson while also noting that the grade could change depending on how the Florida product pans out.

That in and of itself is the fun and the risk of handing out grades the Monday after the NFL Draft. We finally have all the answers for which prospects went where and can combine the needs of each team with the evaluation we had for each player. The obvious problem is so many of these draft classes aren’t viewed as successful or as a failure until years after these selections are made.

Unfortunately for draft analysts and fans alike, we still have four months before any of these prospects take the field. So while the grades aren’t meant to be taken as absolute gospel, it is fair to criticize when a team has obvious needs and then fails to address them.

By that same line of thinking it is also fair to give praise when needs are filled, value is found, and big swings are made. We may look back at the 2023 Colts rookie class as a complete failure in five years time and a large part of that will hinge on if Anthony Richardson can become the NFL’s next star.

Until he takes the field all we can do is look at what he’s shown on tape, how he fits into what Shane Steichen is trying to build, and where he could elevate the Colts in the AFC’s ever growing QB arms race IF he reaches his ceiling.

With all those cautionary statements in mind it’s hard not to look back at the selections made by Chris Ballard and company and be blown away by not just the needs being addressed, but also the sheer explosiveness and other worldly athleticism across this entire class.

When you combine that with the potential of Anthony Richardson it’s easy to say that the Colts had one of, if not the most successful, 2023 NFL Draft of all 32 teams.

For more on that The Fan Midday Show turned to Thor Nystrom, NFL Draft Analyst and College Football Analyst for FantasyPros who shared why he gave the Colts one of his highest grades of any team from the four day affair in Kansas City.

Check out our full conversation with Thor Nystrom below and keep listening to The Fan Midday Show, weekdays 12-3pm Eastern, on 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan.

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