Proposed Trade Lands Colts Heisman Trophy Finalist QB

Shane Steichen

Getty A proposed trade shipped head coach Shane Steichen and the Indianapolis Colts a Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler predicted the Indianapolis Colts to trade up for the top selection in his latest NFL mock draft. But he not to predict the Colts to pick Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who is the favorite to go No. 1 in the draft.

Brugler has the Colts moving up to No. 1 to select Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.

“The members of the triumvirate in charge of that decision [to trade up in the draft] each brings a differing perspective,” Brugler wrote. “Shane Steichen is entering his first draft as a head coach, Chris Ballard knows this could be his final draft as general manager if the wrong pick is made, and owner Jim Irsay is the wild card (as usual).

“Stroud might be the quarterback that’s the most comfortable choice for each person there. He is ready to compete for the starting job from Day 1 and his natural accuracy gives him a high floor as an NFL passer.”

Stroud completed 69.3% of his passes and averaged 9.8 yards per pass with 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 26 games at Ohio State. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting during 2022.

For the right to take Stroud first overall, Brugler proposed the Colts send the No. 4 and 35 overall picks along with a 2024 first-round selection to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 choice.

Cost for Colts to Acquire the No. 1 Pick From Bears

Brugler’s proposal is about in line with what many experts have considered the likely compensation needed for the Colts to move up from No. 4 to 1 this year.

Based on his research into recent NFL draft trades, deputy sports editor Nat Newell of The Indianapolis Star concluded that it would cost at least what Brugler proposed.

It could be more considering a number of teams may possibly be interested in acquiring the No. 1 choice to draft a quarterback. The Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers all have top 10 picks and are moving on from their 2022 Week 1 starting signal callers.

No matter what it costs, though, Brugler argued the Colts have to land their top choice at quarterback in the 2023 class.

“Obviously, trading up to No. 1 is an expensive move,” Brugler wrote. “But if the Colts stay at No. 4, they might find themselves with only their second- or even third-best quarterback option available.

“That isn’t good enough for a franchise that has been compromising at the position since Andrew Luck retired.”

NBC Sports’ Peter King made the same argument, adding that the pressure general manager Chris Ballard must be feeling to finally find a long-term solution at quarterback will force him into paying top dollar to move up the draft board.

“The Colts have had a different starting quarterback five years in a row, and haven’t won a playoff game in the last four seasons,” King wrote. “GM Chris Ballard is under the gun, and he knows it. I think if he falls in love with one of the top passers, he’ll overpay for him.”

Stroud Contender to be No. 1 Pick in 2023 NFL Draft

The Colts trading for the top choice in the draft makes a lot of sense. But even if it happens, it’s still unclear which quarterback Indianapolis will take.

Brugler argued for Stroud because of his accuracy and readiness to start immediately. But according to the draft experts from ESPN, Pro Football Focus and The Athletic, Young is the top prospect in the entire 2023 draft.

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson is seemingly also a possibility for the Colts. PFF’s Mike Renner labeled the Colts the ideal landing spot for Richardson, who set quarterback records at the NFL combine.

The good news is Indianapolis has a few different options behind center in the draft. But the consensus is they should be very aggressive in acquiring their preference.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x