Colts Sign Undrafted Two-Year Starting College Quarterback: Report

Frank Reich

Getty The Indianapolis Colts and coach Frank Reich signed an undrafted free agent quarterback.

The Indianapolis Colts did not dedicate any of their eight selections in the 2022 NFL Draft to adding a quarterback. But after the draft, the Colts did finally address their depth behind center.

NFL reporter Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports Indianapolis signed former Notre Dame and Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan, who went undrafted in the 2022 Draft.

Coan played in 35 games during his college career. He started at Wisconsin, playing for the Badgers from 2017-20. Coan finished his college career at Notre Dame in 2021.

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What Jack Coan Brings to the Colts

It was a bit surprising to see Coan go undrafted during the final weekend of April. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein projected the Fighting Irish quarterback to go either in the fourth or fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

But in general, scouts viewed the 2022 quarterback class weaker than most years. NFL general managers apparently agreed, as only one quarterback went off the board in this year’s draft before the No. 74 selection. That pushed the signal callers that were predicted to go early on Day 3 further down the board as well.

Either way, Coan is now with the Colts. He played well in his first year as a starter at Wisconsin in 2019, posting 2,727 passing yards and 18 touchdowns versus five interceptions. He averaged 8.2 yards per pass and scored five rushing touchdowns as well.

Coan injured his foot during fall camp the following year and missed the 2020 season. Then, he transferred to Notre Dame. With the Fighting Irish, he posted more yards (3,150 passing yards) and touchdowns (25) in fewer games (14 versus 13) than 2019.

Coan went 0-2 in bowl starts during his career, but he led both Wisconsin and Notre Dame to New Year’s Six bowl appearances.

Zierlein compared Coan’s playing style to Brian Hoyer. Like Hoyer, the NFL analyst projects Coan to become a “good backup or future starter” if he has “the right pieces around him.”

“Old-fashioned, pro-style quarterback with the size, eyes and arm to operate with some effectiveness from the pocket. Coan has an ascending profile if you pay attention to certain indicators,” Zierlein wrote. “His accuracy, yards per attempt and touchdown-to-interception ratio are all moving in the right direction and his monster game against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl was attention grabbing.

“However, does need to improve his deep-ball touch and ball placement when throwing outside the numbers.”


Jack Coan Provides Indianapolis Quarterback Depth

The Colts went into the NFL Draft with three quarterbacks on their roster. Given that starter Matt Ryan turns 37 on May 17, NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN wrote it was “a little peculiar” Indianapolis didn’t draft a quarterback.

“There were some really good players on the board,” Kiper wrote. “Maybe the organization just didn’t like any of them in this class and prefers to wait for 2023?”

Colts general manager Chris Ballard hinted that to be the case during his 2022 NFL Draft Day 2 recap press conference.

“We talked about [drafting a quarterback],” Ballard said. “We talked about it. At the end of the day, it just didn’t work.”

But signing Coan now gives the Colts three young signal callers behind Ryan. Indianapolis drafted backup quarterback Sam Ehlinger in the sixth round last year.

Ehlinger played in three games as a rookie in 2021 but didn’t attempt a pass. The other quarterback on Indianapolis’ roster, James Morgan, was a 2020 fourth-round pick by the New York Jets. He has also never thrown a pass in the NFL.

Clearly, experience at backup quarterback is not a huge concern for the Colts. That’s understandable since Ryan has missed just three games because of injury in his 14-year career.

Without any veteran signal callers behind Ryan, the likelihood Coan makes Indianapolis’ roster increases.

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