Colts ‘Betting on Shane Steichen’ with QB Anthony Richardson Pick

Anthony Richardson

Getty The Indianapolis Colts drafted Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson at No. 4 overall in the 2023 NFL draft.

The Indianapolis Colts drafted a quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. But not the one a lot of draft analysts predicted.

At No. 4, the Colts selected Florida signal caller Anthony Richardson. That came after Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer and ESPN’s Matt Miller linked the Colts to Kentucky quarterback Will Levis late in the draft process.

Breer even suggested that the Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning could influence the Colts to draft Levis.

“I heard he made a very positive impression with the Manning brothers at their passing academy last summer,” Breer wrote. “And, obviously, owner Jim Irsay still listens to Peyton on these things.”

But rather than trusting Manning, the Colts appear to be counting on new head coach Shane Steichen to develop another athletic quarterback.

“Time will tell, but I love the gamble: This is the Colts betting on Shane Steichen’s ability to develop a young quarterback,” The Athletic’s Zak Keefer wrote. “Richardson is just 20 years old and has so much ahead of him.”

At No. 4, Richardson became the highest drafted quarterback in Colts history since Andrew Luck went first overall in the 2012 NFL draft.

Shane Steichen ‘Key Piece’ in Colts Drafting QB Anthony Richardson

ESPN’s Adam Schefter began the Colts’ time on the clock during the ESPN draft broadcast on April 27 with a tidbit about the organization wanting to give new head coach Shane Steichen an opportunity to work with a quarterback similar to Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts.

With Steichen as his offensive coordinator, Hurts went from a backup as a rookie to MVP candidate during his third season. In 2022, Hurts posted a 14-1 record as a starter with 3,701 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. He also gained 760 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.

While Levis was a very intriguing candidate, Richardson more closely resembled Hurts’ style.

Like Hurts, Richardson may not make much of an impact as a rookie. But he has very high upside.

“Dual-threat quarterback with an elite physical profile and a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “Ultimately, he will succeed or fail based on his ability to play with better post-snap recognition and deliver the football with consistency.”

To fulfill that potential, Richardson needed to land in the right situation for him to develop. With Steichen and veteran quarterbacks such as Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew, the Colts appear to be that right situation.

Steichen Previously Silent on Preferred QB Traits

The initial reports from the first night of the 2023 NFL draft indicate Steichen and the Colts were looking for a particular style of quarterback at No. 4. Interestingly, that was kept close to the vest during the draft process.

When speaking to the media on April 12, Steichen said they were focused on the quarterbacks in the draft and not veterans such as Lamar Jackson. But Steichen didn’t go much further in describing what he was looking for in a quarterback.

“I’m looking for good guys. I mean, that’s the biggest thing,” Steichen told the media. “Obviously, there (are) the tangibles and the intangibles, and I’m not going to get into all the details of what I look for, but really I want good guys in this building.”

The fact Steichen had worked with Hurts but also traditional pocket passers such as Philip Rivers in the past helped keep Indianapolis’ desire to draft Richardson a secret.

For the first time since Luck, the Colts have a young quarterback to build their around in the future. It’s now up to Steichen to turn him into a star.

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