The 2023 NFL Draft represents the next chapter for the Indianapolis Colts, who will aim to use that showcase to build momentum into the Shane Steichen era. These prospects at the 2023 NFL Combine could factor into the Colts’ plans, with the QBs taking the main focus.
Colts Draft Prospects To Target at 2023 NFL Combine
Indianapolis was one step short of blowing it all up this offseason. Jim Irsay kept Chris Ballard as general manager, but there’s a new head coach in town and a new direction soon to follow. For a team that’s stagnated and stalled out every year since Andrew Luck’s retirement, direction is what’s needed most.
The Colts have the fourth overall pick and need a franchise QB. So naturally, the primary attention will go to the quarterbacks at the NFL Combine. But which quarterbacks deserve the most attention from Indianapolis, and what other positions should the team keep tabs on?
QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
We have no idea which QBs will end up where at this point. Between the top four signal callers, there are dozens of potential outcomes. But looking at what Shane Steichen brings to the Colts with his personnel adherence, flexibility, and ability to maximize tools, and it’s exciting to think about what Anthony Richardson could bring to the table.
Top quarterbacks don’t always test, but Richardson would put up truly mind-bending numbers if he did. At 6’4″, 230 pounds, he reportedly has 4.4 speed, and he’s an elite short-area athlete as well. Even more important for Richardson, however, will be interviews and throwing drills, where his accuracy will be heavily scrutinized.
QB Bryce Young, Alabama
Why should the Colts keep an eye on Bryce Young? Well, apart from him being the arguable QB1 in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jim Irsay himself brought up Young during Steichen’s introductory press conference: “That kid from Alabama looks pretty good, huh?”
Now, it could be genuine interest. It could be a smokescreen. But either way, Young is in the conversation. As discussed with Richardson, Young might also opt out of testing. Regardless, all eyes will be on his measurements. If he comes in around 5’10”, 190 pounds, that’ll have implications in the QB1 conversation league-wide.
WR Parker Washington, Penn State
First things first: The Colts have to get their quarterback. Once they do, however, they’ll also need to add another receiving threat on offense. Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, and Jelani Woods provide a lot of size, but the Colts need someone to capitalize on that.
Parker Washington from Penn State could be an intriguing fit for Steichen’s offense as a big slot. At 5’10” and well over 210 pounds, he’s one of the most compact runners in the WR group. That build contributes to great RAC utility, but he’s also a phenomenal catcher. His testing will be key in solidifying his stock because athleticism is secondary to his game.
CB Julius Brents, Kansas State
It remains to be seen if the Colts will keep Gus Bradley as their defensive coordinator. The flashes were bright in 2022, and Bradley had enough time to start shifting personnel his way. If he does stay, then getting a cornerback like Julius Brents on Day 2 could be a great move to make.
Brents has some implied versatility with his unique athleticism and build. With nearly 34″ arms and surprising short-area athleticism and fluidity, he can dictate reps in press. But he’s just as natural as a Cover 3, side-saddle defender, and with his size, he’d flourish on the boundary in Bradley’s scheme.
EDGE K.J. Henry, Clemson
Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo are both rising players on the edge for the Colts, but Indianapolis should have an active interest in strengthening its rotation in the 2023 NFL Draft. K.J. Henry is an underrated EDGE prospect who could exceed his draft billing, and, particularly for the Colts, he’d make a lot of sense on Day 3.
Interestingly, the knock on Henry is that he isn’t quite the transcendent talent that Myles Murphy is. Henry himself was a five-star recruit, however, so he certainly isn’t lacking. He has fast, active hands and great bend for his size. If he can back that up with decent testing numbers, he’ll check the final box.
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