Colts Conduct Slew of Workouts, Evaluate Top QB Prospect From SEC

Chris Ballard

Getty Colts general manager Chris Ballard is leading the charge to identify the team's next starting quarterback.

The search for the Indianapolis Colts’ next quarterback is heating up as the team is in the midst of conducting private workouts.

The team sent out a contingent to Lexington, Kentucky to hold a private workout for quarterback Will Levis on April 6, according to a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. Several faces from the Colts’ front office showed up to watch the former Kentucky signal caller throw live.

“GM Chris Ballard, HC Shane Steichen, OC Jim Bob Cooter, QBs coach Cam Turner, ass’t GM Ed Dodds and college director Matt Terpening were all there, per sources,” Breer tweeted.

In addition to Levis, the Colts will soon finish workouts with the other three projected top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King. Those names include Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

Stroud and Young were the most recent quarterbacks to be worked out by the Colts in California, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Richardson will “work out for them in Gainesville [Florida] at some point,” per James Adams from 107.5 The Fan.

Fowler also noted that Colts personnel traveled to Utah to watch a private workout with BYU quarterback Jaren Hall on April 4.

How Does Indianapolis View Will Levis?

During Ballard’s six-year tenure as Colts’ general manager, he has made size an emphasis at the quarterback position. Ballard has never selected a starting quarterback shorter than 6-foot-4

That six-year stretch includes four different veteran quarterbacks from 2019-2022 after Andrew Luck’s retirement.

“Ballard said the Colts are still ‘stringent’ about certain measurables with draft prospects,” writer J.J. Stankevitz said on March 1. “‘But,’ Ballard said, ‘there’s always exceptions.’”

The Colts cut Matt Ryan after a season that included two benchings. After several one-year stints with veteran quarterbacks, the front office has made it clear that pursuing a rookie signal caller is in their best interest.

With size (6-foot-3, 232 pounds), mobility and a strong arm, Levis possesses attributes that Ballard desires in a quarterback prospect. But Ballard has not yet revealed his plans with the No. 4 pick in the draft.

Some could suggest Levis’ 2022 numbers did not show a vast improvement from 2021. But it is noteworthy to mention that he missed two games his senior year due to injury.

It’s also fair to acknowledge Levis’ offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello was fired immediately after the team’s last regular-season game in 2022. Levis was also without his 2021 leading receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, who became a second-round draft pick after he put up 104 catches, 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns.

Ultimately, it’s up to the Colts to decide if Levis’ potential is enough to deem him the quarterback of their future.

How Are the Colts Evaluating Other Quarterbacks?

The Draft Network’s Jaime Eisner tweeted on April 6 that odds have moved to make Bryce Young a new co-favorite to get drafted No. 1 overall, per Fanduel Sportsbook. Eisner noted that Young and Stroud are each listed at -110 odds.

While these numbers are likely meaningless to the Colts and other NFL front offices, they still indicate that Young and Stroud are each favored — and heavily rumored — to each be taken within the top three.

Last month, Indianapolis was put in a more difficult position to move up in the draft as a result of the Carolina Panthers trading up to No. 1 (previously owned by the Chicago Bears). Despite that, due diligence has been key for the Colts this off-season.

It took Indianapolis five weeks to hire its new head coach (Steichen) after its offseason began. The team is now hesitant once again — this time in pursuit of a new quarterback.

Despite the Colts working out four draft prospects within a week, a rookie quarterback is not guaranteed. Recurring rumors of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson getting traded to Indianapolis have flooded the team’s offseason.

While it remains unclear which quarterback the Colts will pursue, Steichen recently told Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce that he values passers who can throw accurately the most.

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