The Indianapolis Colts were in the news early and often on March 27 as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tweeted that he requested a trade on March 2. Later in the day, Indianapolis continued to make noise as general manager Chris Ballard said the team is weighing all options at quarterback, including trading for Jackson.
But another piece of the puzzle is the quarterbacks the Colts have scouted during the pre-draft process. Despite their potential interest in Jackson, they’re still doing their homework on rookie quarterbacks.
NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe tweeted that the Colts are set to meet with Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson in April as the team continues to peruse the 2023 rookie quarterback class.
“Anthony Richardson has top-30 visits in April scheduled with Panthers (pick #1), Colts (4), Raiders (7), Falcons (8) and Titans (11), per sources,” Wolfe wrote. “Richardson is in Gainesville this week ahead of his Florida pro day Thursday, final of top QB prospects to make their pro day mark.”
Clearly, Richardson is generating plenty of first-round interest as one of four QBs projected to be selected within the first six picks, per PFF. The others are Alabama’s Bryce Young, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
The Colts have been connected to Jackson by rumors throughout the offseason after he received a non-exclusive franchise tag. But the possibility of Indianapolis acquiring the 2019 NFL MVP appears to be even more likely now.
What Richardson Brings to the Table
Richardson is considered one of the more dynamic quarterbacks in the draft due to his size, athleticism and playmaking ability. PFF’s Mike Renner even dubbed the Colts the most ideal landing spot for Richardson earlier this offseason.
The Colts hold the No. 4 selection in the draft and could end up being content with that pick. Richardson might end up falling to at least No. 4, as the likes of Stroud, Levis and Young have each been projected to be selected by the Colts in various mock drafts this offseason.
Richardson has the ability to throw in and out of the pocket. His elusive ability to evade tacklers adds to his game, as he can add yards on the ground when needed.
Last season, he threw for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions while adding 654 rushing yards on 103 carries. His potential is held in high regard because he is listed at an eye-popping 6-foot-4, 232 pounds and broke NFL Combine records.
Richardson would also be more feasible as a long-term solution at quarterback financially — at least compared to Jackson. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jackson wants a deal similar to Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, which is near the $50 million range.
Colts Players Returning in 2023
The Athletic’s Zak Keefer tweeted that center Ryan Kelly and cornerback Kenny Moore II are returning to the Colts next season.
Keefer said Ballard was not willing to let either Pro Bowler go.
“A few teams called about potential trades, but Ballard wasn’t willing to pull the trigger,” Keefer wrote on Twitter. “‘They’re both great Colts, and we’re glad they’re here.’”
Kelly returns to an offensive line that had a rough 2022 but improved during the second half of the season. The unit experienced more continuity after left tackle Bernhard Raimann and right guard Will Fries were inserted into the lineup alongside Kelly, left guard Quenton Nelson and right tackle Braden Smith.
Moore II coming back to Indianapolis marks another experienced veteran choosing to stay. Moore II has 14 picks, 48 passes defended and eight sacks during his Colts career, which started in 2017.
On March 27, the team also announced that defensive end Khalid Kareem was re-signed. Kareem played 29 games in two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Colts in 2022.
He has 29 career tackles but just one with the Colts. Kareem is currently listed as the third defensive end on the depth chart behind Kwity Paye and Tyquan Lewis, who was also just re-signed by the team.
Idc if he was mvp or a pro bowler…this guy isn’t worth two first round picks and the money he wants is ridiculous…I hope he doesn’t come to Indy imo Jackson sucks…he can stay in Balt…all this turd cares about is money…he turns down 3 yrs 133 mil? What idiot does that? He over values himself lol hurt last two seasons…lol stay in Balt