Colts Urged to Avoid Lamar Jackson, Execute Alternate QB Plan

Indianapolis Colts

Getty The Indianapolis Colts are being encouraged to execute a trade for a quarterback not named Lamar Jackson.

Rumors that the Indianapolis Colts are interested in trading for quarterback Lamar Jackson have heated up in recent weeks. But The Athletic’s James Boyd proposed a different idea on April 2.

Boyd suggested the Colts avoid the high price and risk of acquiring Jackson and instead, move up from No. 4 to 3 in the 2023 NFL draft.

“Only four of the last 20 Super Bowl champions’ starting QBs were not drafted or acquired via trade on draft night by that franchise: Drew Brees and the Saints in 2009, Peyton Manning and the Broncos in 2015, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in 2020 and Matthew Stafford and the Rams in 2021,” wrote Boyd.

“With that in mind, a more realistic option than signing Jackson that I expect the Colts’ higher-ups to mull over is whether to trade up to No. 3 pick or stay put at No. 4.

“If the Colts were sold on Levis or Richardson, I think they could trade up to No. 3 in exchange for the No. 4 pick, one of their three fifth-rounders and a 2024 second-rounder, or a similar package that doesn’t involve their 2024 first-round pick.”

Reasons for Colts to Avoid Trading for Jackson

Trading for Jackson would be a dream come true for a lot of NFL franchises. He’s posted a dazzling 45-16 record as an NFL starter. He’s also averaged 7.4 yards per pass while throwing for 101 touchdowns versus only 38 interceptions.

Jackson is also a dynamic runner. He’s averaged 6.1 yards per carry in his career with 24 rushing touchdowns.

He only turned 26 in January, but even as he ages and perhaps runs less, Jackson should continue to be a viable weapon in the NFL because of his tremendous arm strength and strong decision-making.

Jackson, though, won’t come without risk in a trade this offseason. He’s reportedly seeking a contract similar to Deshaun Watson’s $230 million fully guaranteed deal from last year. To acquire him, the Colts would also have to send two first-round picks to the Baltimore Ravens.

“From my perspective, in theory, it’s ‘doable’ but in reality ‘it’s not,'” wrote Boyd. “Indianapolis has left the door cracked ever so slightly for Jackson, though perhaps a better bet is to move up to No. 3, pick a rookie signal caller and finally end the veteran QB merry-go-round that’s plagued the team since Andrew Luck walked away from football in 2019.”

Reasons for Colts to Trade Up to No. 3

Moving up to one of the top two spots in the 2023 NFL draft is off the table. The Carolina Panthers already traded for the No. 1 pick from the Chicago Bears, and the Houston Texans sit at No. 2.

The Texans aren’t going to move back to No. 4 to allow the Colts to take a franchise quarterback ahead of them.

So, the Colts are stuck behind two quarterback-needy teams in the upcoming draft. Boyd suggested that whether or not the Colts move up to No. 3 will depend on how they evaluate the next best two signal callers.

“Indianapolis will likely miss out on the top two QB prospects, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, since Carolina and Houston need quarterbacks and are picking first and second, respectively,” Boyd wrote. “The Colts’ decision would then come down to Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis, and whether there’s a significant gap between the two.

As Boyd noted, a move up from No. 4 to 3 is a lot more cost effective than acquiring Jackson. Additionally, with Richardson or Levis, the Colts would have a young quarterback on a rookie deal to build around for the first time since 2012.

If the Colts execute any kind of trade out of the No. 4 spot in this year’s draft, a move up to No. 3 appears to be the most realistic option.

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Greg Bryant
Greg Bryant
5 months ago

Tbh neither Richardson or Levi’s are first round qbs…same with Shroud and Young…let Carolina take one of those trash qbs and let Houston have the other…I would waste a first on any of these qbs lol…Carolina lol are just dumb giving up what they did for first overall…Indy needs to take best offensive tackle with that 4th overall pick and take Hooker or McKee with their 2nd round pick…only reason these 4 trash qbs are even mentioned as first rounders is because of hard up teams like Car. And Hou. Let them find out they chose busts on their own…