Without Draft Trade, Colts Could End Up With ‘Distant Third-Best QB’: Analyst

Jim Irsay

Getty Colts owner Jim Irsay has a big decision to make with the No. 4 overall pick.

The Indianapolis Colts currently hold the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but one draft analyst believes the team could be taking a risk if they don’t trade up.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said the Colts could “risk falling to a distant third-best QB if they decide to stand pat and not trade up,” according to The Indianapolis Star’s Nate Atkins. Atkins also tweeted a quote of Jeremiah’s thoughts on Indianapolis’ situation:

“I would not be sleeping well if I were going to sit tight there at No. 4,” Jeremiah said.

In his latest Mock Draft 2.0 released on February 21, Jeremiah only predicted one quarterback to be selected before the Colts: Alabama’s Bryce Young to Houston at No. 2. Jeremiah projected the Colts to take Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the No. 4 pick.

“The Colts need to turn the page on their recent approach to the game’s most important position: cycling through veteran arms,” Jeremiah wrote. “Stroud will be a great fit with new head coach Shane Steichen in Indy.”

Other top prospect quarterbacks Will Levis (Kentucky) and Anthony Richardson (Florida) are also projected to be selected in the first round by Jeremiah.

The Colts have started veteran quarterbacks each of the past three seasons: Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan.

Irsay’s Cryptic Chicago Tweets

Colts owner Jim Irsay added to offseason speculation on February 15 by tweeting a photo about Chicago, as the Bears currently own the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. Irsay’s tweet was posted just days after he revealed that the team is “going to have to find a young quarterback to develop” during Steichen’s introductory presser.

With no context, Irsay once again composed a tweet on February 24 — this time, posting a fact about Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago.

“THIS MONTH 87 years ago, Jay Berwanger (U. of Chicago) became the first player ever drafted into the NFL—but he never played due to a salary dispute w/Bears.  He wanted $15k, but Mr. Halas held the line at $13,500.  So Jay opted for a job with a Chicago rubber company,” Irsay wrote.

Whether or not Irsay plans to trade up in the draft, his internet trolling is confusing some in his replies.

“Another Bears tweet 🤔,” one fan wrote.

WR Coach to Remain in Indy

In addition to former head coach Frank Reich, six members of the Colts’ offensive staff from 2022 have moved on from the team this offseason.

Colts legendary wide receiver Reggie Wayne, however, is expected to return to the coaching staff for a second season, per a February 23 tweet from The Athletic’s Zak Keefer.

“At this point, feel pretty strongly that Reggie Wayne will be back as WRs coach,” Keefer wrote.

Wayne joined the Colts in March 2022 — his first professional coaching job. The Colts’ second all-time leading WR signaled that he would be open to returning during a Week 18 press conference last month.

ESPN’s Stephen Holder also tweeted that Wayne was ‘still thinking about the beach’ while coaching WRs in Indianapolis, but was willing to stay for a second season. 

“But he indicates he’s willing and ready to come back for another year if the eventual head coach retains him,” Holder wrote on January 5.

Under Wayne’s leadership, the Colts received high-level production from leading wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. In 2022, the third-year pro notched a career-high 99 receptions with 925 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

Read More