QB Options for Shane Steichen, Indianapolis Colts in the 2023 NFL Draft

Now that the Indianapolis Colts have hired Shane Steichen as their head coach, let's look at which 2023 NFL Draft QB prospects might best fit his offense.

The Indianapolis Colts have their new head coach: Former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. The Steichen hire helps give direction to a team that sorely needs it, but how will Steichen’s arrival impact the team’s 2023 NFL Draft philosophy? More specially, how does this affect the inevitable QB discussion?

Which QBs Could Shane Steichen Target in the 2023 NFL Draft?

It’s essentially a forgone conclusion that the Colts will target a QB early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now, the confirmed arrival of Steichen as head coach allows the organization to take a definitive step forward into the next era. And the 2023 QB talent further magnifies that opportunity.

C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

As notable as Steichen’s presence is, he’s not the only one with an opinion that carries weight in the Colts’ organization. Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay will both have input, as they always do, and they may prefer a more prototypical, traditional QB mold.

Thus, the perfect fit for Indianapolis might be marrying the two — a traditionally-built pocket passer with the talent and adept operation ability to maximize Steichen’s scheme. One name comes to mind quicker than the rest: C.J. Stroud.

One of Steichen’s strengths as an offensive mind is play design — playing to the strengths of his weapons, and isolating opportunities for playmakers on offense. Stroud, with his quick processing ability and accuracy, profiles best to maximize that careful design work.

Anthony Richardson, Florida

Play design is a calling card for Steichen, but with the Eagles, his work went beyond that. Not only did he create a diverse passing attack around Jalen Hurts, but Steichen also expertly wove Hurts’ elite running ability into his scheme, using it as an additional function of the offense. That’s something he could do with Anthony Richardson as well.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Class

Richardson is a truly dangerous runner with elite athleticism, twitch, and power at 6’4″, 230 pounds. He has the necessary passing upside with his rocket arm and instinctive pocket navigation, but Richardson’s also a true weapon on the ground. That’s something Steichen has proven he can work with to near perfection.

Will Levis, Kentucky

In a perfect scenario, Will Levis fits Steichen’s offense very well. That’s essentially the problem with the Kentucky signal-caller. Of the four options on the board, he arguably brings the highest amount of risk. But for a passer that has his athleticism and elite arm talent, the potential reward is undoubtedly great.

Levis still needs to let the game slow down for him a bit. He also needs to improve his pocket discipline before he can be a high-level distributor in Steichen’s offense. But Levis has the running ability to add another dimension, and with his high-velocity arm, he can generate big plays with big-bodied receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce.

Bryce Young, Alabama

Of all the top 2023 NFL Draft quarterbacks, Bryce Young least fits the prototypical mold that the Colts’ brass probably craves. Young is 6’0″ at most and well under 200 pounds — a tricky element for any NFL projection. But if we’re talking about an offense that maximizes distributors and insulates QB running threats, Young can be a good fit for Steichen.

The conversation will ultimately come down to whether Indianapolis is willing to gamble on Young’s outlier size. If they are, he has the ability to work the quick game very efficiently right away. While Young’s not quite as adept a runner as Hurts, he has plenty of creation ability to work with.

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