Proposed Trade Lands Colts Former Heisman Trophy Winner

Chris Ballard

Getty A proposed trade indirectly sent general manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts a former Heisman Trophy winner.

The Indianapolis Colts are reportedly closing in on who will become their next head coach. It wouldn’t be surprising if the team also finds a long-term solution at quarterback this offseason.

NFL writer Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus argued the Colts will get that signal caller by exercising a draft trade. Renner projected Indianapolis to move up to the No. 1 pick to select Alabama signal caller Bryce Young.

“It’ll take a premium to move up for a prospect like Bryce Young (Pick Nos. 4 and 36 and a 2024 second-rounder is what I’d project), but it’s well worth it for the quarterback-starved Colts,” Renner wrote. “What Young did to an NFL defense in Georgia’s 2021 unit makes me worry a lot less about his size going forward.”

In Renner’s proposed trade, the Colts would keep their 2024 first-rounder. However, the Colts wouldn’t make another selection this year after No. 1 until the third round at No. 80 overall.

Colts Trade Up to No. 1 to Draft Young

The 2023 draft class is much deeper at quarterback than last year. But if the Colts identify one signal caller as their preferred choice, general manager Chris Ballard must do that it takes to make a move to ensure that quarterback lands in Indianapolis.

Some mock draft experts prefer Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Kentucky’s Will Levis over Young. But overall, the consensus is Young is the best option at quarterback in the 2023 draft.

CBS Sports’ Kyle Stackpole called Young one of the top prospects this year “regardless of position.”

The biggest negative in Young’s draft profile is his size. He possesses average height and a slender frame. But he has other tools that cause draft evaluators to overlook his size.

“Young can drive the ball and throws with touch,” CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Josh Edwards wrote. “There is some mobility to his game but it is not his first instinct when the play breaks down.

“Young throws with anticipation and shows good ball placement.”

In three seasons at Alabama, Young posted 8,356 passing yards while averaging 8.8 yards per attempt. He also had 80 touchdown passes versus 12 interceptions.

What It Could Cost Colts to Move Up to No. 1 in 2023 NFL Draft

Renner proposed the Colts swapping 2023 first-rounders with the Chicago Bears in a deal that would send Chicago two second-round choices (No. 36 overall in 2023 and a 2024 second-round pick).

However, other media members who cover the NFL do not believe a move up to No. 1 for Indianapolis will come so cheaply.

Deputy sports editor Nat Newell of The Indianapolis Star researched into draft trades made over recent years and proposed that the asking price would begin with an additional first and second-round pick.

“The No. 1 pick is worth 3,000 points,” Newell wrote in January. “The fourth pick is worth 1,800, which means the Colts would be giving up AT LEAST an additional second-rounder (540) and its 2024 first-rounder (1,158 without the discount, 416 with it).

“The Colts’ 2024 second-rounder (207) would certainly be in play, too.”

If the Colts have trade competition for the top draft pick, it will cost even more. The Houston Texans hold the No. 2 pick and could, theoretically, move up to the top spot for the quarterback of their choice to avoid him landing in the AFC South with the Colts.

Regardless of how much it could cost, though, Ballard should aggressively pursue the quarterback market this offseason. The Colts don’t figure to be contenders again until they jump off the quarterback carousel.

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