Ahead of the 2022 season, the Indianapolis Colts were listed as contenders in the AFC South and had playoff expectations. The Colts took another risk on a veteran quarterback, acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. Like Carson Wentz in the 2021 season, this was another failed experiment. Indianapolis severely underachieved with a 4-12-1 record.
With the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Colts are finally in a position to find a franchise quarterback. Indy could quickly contend for a playoff spot with the right hire at head coach and a good draft.
Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports, and NFL predictions. We’ve plenty of NFL expert picks for you to consider.
2022 Season Record: 4-12-1
Status of Coach: Frank Reich – Fired
Positions of Need
- Offensive tackle
- Wide receiver
Notable Draft Picks
- Round 1, Pick 4
- Round 2, Pick 35
Potential First-Round Targets
This one is a no-brainer. The Colts desperately need a franchise quarterback. Indianapolis has tried the veteran QB route for three consecutive seasons – Phillip Rivers in 2020, Wentz in 2021, and Ryan in 2022. Indy made the postseason once with no playoff wins. It’s time to commit to a long-term QB.
Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, and Kentucky’s Will Levis are the clear top quarterback prospects of the 2023 class. Young is an extraordinary playmaker with great speed and accuracy, but some are concerned about his 6-foot, 194-pound frame. Stroud is mostly viewed as the second-best QB prospect with elite touch and accuracy, but questions surround his ability to create outside of the pocket. Levis has the lowest floor among the three. However, his 6-foot-3, 232-pound frame paired with elite arm talent gives Levis sky-high potential.
Idk if a single game has ever influenced my opinion of a player like this performance from CJ Stroud pic.twitter.com/i98AzADy4z
— James Foster (@NoFlagsFilm) January 6, 2023
All three are expected to be off of the board by the eighth or ninth pick. The Colts have options with the fourth overall selection. Indy could stay put and likely decide between Stroud and Levis. However, the Chicago Bears holding the No. 1 pick makes things interesting.
Other QB-needy teams, like the Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers, could look to acquire the top pick. Plus, the Houston Texans will likely take a quarterback with the No. 2 pick and are also a threat to trade up. Indianapolis could look to acquire the top overall pick, which would require a pick swap and several future first-round and/or second-round selections.
Young and Stroud make the most sense for the Colts. Both could have immediate success, while Levis could take time to develop with inconsistent accuracy and questionable mechanics. Indianapolis wants to become a win-now team with aging key players, like linebacker Shaquille Leonard and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Potential Second-Round Targets
In the second round, the Colts could target offensive tackle or wide receiver. Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison would be the best option to address pass protection with his nimble athleticism. Ohio State’s Dawand Jones and Tennessee’s Darnell Wright would bring immense strength and size to the run game.
Indianapolis could use another wide receiver, especially with the potential departure of Parris Campbell in the slot. Josh Downs of North Carolina would be an ideal fit with his exceptional athleticism and ability after the catch. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound wideout will likely play in the slot at the next level.
The Colts had a horrible stretch to end the season, losing seven consecutive games. However, Indianapolis could have a much brighter future thanks to the No. 4 pick. This is a solid roster that can immediately contend for the AFC South with a competent quarterback and healthy defense.