Analyzing the Colts best QB fits in the 2020 NFL Draft

With a lackluster passing game in 2019, it's clear that the Colts need a new option under center. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of options in the 2020 NFL Draft.

When Andrew Luck shocked the NFL world by announcing his retirement, Colts fans were left wondering about the future of their quarterback position. Colts’ management and coaching staff felt great about Jacoby Brissett and confident in his ability to lead at the time. Unfortunately, that plan fell apart pretty quickly. Despite the Colts’ words that “the jury is still out” on Brissett, it’s pretty clear he held back the Colts this season, and they need a more inspiring option at signal-caller. In a talented class, there are plenty of QBs in the 2020 NFL Draft who could be good fits at the position for the Indianapolis Colts. 

Tua Tagovailoa

This would seem to be the most no-brainer option for the Colts. Going from Luck to Tua Tagovailoa within two years would be a historically great fortune for the Colts. This year, Indy was limited in their downfield passing attack, which hurt their offensive production and made them incredibly predictable and easy to stop. Tua has had no issues throwing deep, completing roughly 55% of his passes 25+yards downfield (which is phenomenally accurate). This accuracy combined with his poise in the pocket checks off a ton of boxes that the Colts (and just about any NFL team) would want at the position. 

It would take a move up in the NFL Draft for the Colts to acquire Tua. With his recent declaration, Tua gave several hints that his medicals are all positive, even saying he feels confident that he could play this season. With that in mind, it’s hard to envision Tua falling out of the top-10 picks, which would put the Colts (pick 13) out of range without trading up. Luckily, the Colts have plenty of assets to move up if they really want Tua. In my opinion, this is the best QB fit for the Colts at the position, but the issue of overall cost may give Chris Ballard additional pause on trading up for Tua. 

Justin Herbert

Now we get into a more likely name: Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert will more than likely be the most polarizing quarterback in the 2020 Draft Class, but his pedigree and arm talent makes him a first-round prospect. Many people are speculating that Herbert will be a target for the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and even the Las Vegas Raiders, all of whom pick ahead of the Indianapolis Colts. Luckily for the Colts, the Tua declaration will push Herbert down, which could bring better value for Indy should they decide to trade up for Herbert. I’ll be publishing a scouting report soon on Herbert, but I think he’d be a good fit for the Colts for several reasons.

Herbert is an experienced leader for the Ducks, having started for multiple seasons and leading a resurgence in the Oregon program. Herbert has all of the physical tools one could ask for in a franchise quarterback, but the Oregon offense often hindered him, which slowed his development. With Brissett on the roster for one more year, perhaps the Colts could draft Herbert and plan on having him learn and develop with a bridge quarterback in place? Herbert would be a top fit at QB for the Colts; he just requires a little more polish to his game. 

Jordan Love

Perhaps the most enticing and likely option is Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. Out of every quarterback in this class, Love is the most Mahomes-like, in terms of phenomenal arm talent and improvisational skills. Unfortunately, his junior tape is going to push him down draft boards due to the questionable decision-making Love played with over the course of the season. His stats are somewhat misleading, as for all the boneheaded decisions Love made, there were even more moments where his teammates let him down or were just out-matched, and Love just resorted to “hero ball” to make plays.

It made the most sense for him to declare before he spent another year with an underwhelming program. Much like Herbert, Love has incredible physical tools but hasn’t shown signs of development and will be banking on his sophomore year tape.

With these negatives placed on Love and potentially three quarterbacks taken above him, Love will be pushed down the board, which is extremely fortunate for the Colts. They could possibly nab Love without giving up any assets at all. Putting him under Frank Reich’s tutelage and potentially developing him under Brissett for a time would allow the Colts to fully maximize Love’s talent (similar to how the Chiefs handled Mahomes). If they do so, they’ve gotten themselves a fantastic franchise quarterback. Based on value and future projection, Love represents the Colts’ best match, but he isn’t a safe pick and requires more investment than the other two on this list. 

Mid-late round options

If the Colts decide that spending that early of a pick on a quarterback isn’t worth it or if all the quarterbacks mentioned above are taken by pick 13, other options in this 2020 NFL Draft class could be good fits for the Colts.

  • Anthony Gordon, Washington State: fun gunslinger type with a cannon arm and ridiculous improvisational skills, but much like Love, will need seasoning and development.
  • Tyler Huntley, Utah: Pro-ready mentality, but lack of elite physical traits may give Colts pause due to their already limited downfield passing game.
  • Jacob Eason, Washington: Incredible arm, but needs development virtually everywhere else. He would be a boost downfield but brings plenty of risks.