Indianapolis Colts 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    What are the most pressing Indianapolis Colts draft needs? With the 2023 NFL Draft underway, let's dive into the positional gaps they might fill.

    With the NFL Draft underway, the Indianapolis Colts are still recovering from their Week 17 collapse two seasons ago. Losing that game against Jacksonville might have set them on a course from which they still haven’t recovered.

    After selecting what they hope will be their franchise quarterback in the first round, what are the Colts’ biggest team needs ahead of the remainder of the draft? Which targets might be most appealing for a franchise that might still have enough firepower to compete in the AFC South?

    Indianapolis Colts Team Following Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • CB
    • WR
    • G
    • OT

    The Colts have been one “great” QB away from being a Super Bowl contender since . . . well, since Andrew Luck retired four years ago. They’ve gone from Jacoby Brissett to a post-prime Philip Rivers, and then from Carson Wentz to a post-prime Matt Ryan.

    Now they’re sitting on the recently acquired Gardner Minshew, as well as Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger. While Minshew is the best spot-starter of the group, there’s little evidence that he’s “the answer” in Indy.

    As a result, we should’ve expected the Colts to finally look to the draft for their franchise quarterback, where they struck gold with Luck. And where they struck even more gold (“mega” gold?) with Peyton Manning.

    They did just that, selecting the uber-athletic, but relatively inexperienced quarterback out of Florida, Anthony Richardson.

    More: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!

    At receiver, Parris Campbell finally enjoyed a healthy scene, and that translated into a solid one-year prove-it deal with the Giants heading into 2023. This leaves the Colts with Michael Pittman Jr. as their true No. 1 WR, with Alec Pierce likely ascending. Indianapolis needs a third starter and, quite simply, more WR depth.

    Cornerback has become a massive need for a team that looked relatively set there just a short time ago. Trading Stephon Gilmore creates a gaping hole opposite of Isaiah Rodgers. Luckily, the 2023 NFL Draft is filled with intriguing players at the position that the Colts could snag.

    The best thing an organization can do is protect its young quarterback. Upgrading from Will Fries would help in that regard. Bernhard Raimann might end up being the answer at left tackle, but relying on him to protect a rookie’s blindside might not be the best plan.

    The Colts have nine selections in the 2023 NFL Draft, though only two within the first 78. Indianapolis is a trade-down candidate in the second round. If they can turn their second-rounder into two Day 2 picks, it might behoove them to do so.

    Results for Team 2023 Colts Draft Picks

    Round 1, Pick 4: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

    The Colts did something they haven’t done with the quarterback position each of the past four years — they chased upside. After trying to just “get on base” with low-ceiling veteran signal-callers, the Colts took a volatile prospect with both the highest ceiling and the lowest floor in this class.

    If Richardson pans out, he could be one of the most dynamic players we’ve ever seen — like a modern-day souped-up Cam Newton. Championships aren’t won by playing it safe. Kudos to the Colts for taking the shot here.

    Predictions for Remaining Colts Draft Picks

    We used PFN’s FREE Mock Draft Simulator to project some realistic targets for Indianapolis at each of their draft positions. Here’s a breakdown of the results.

    Round 2, Pick 35: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

    As alluded to above, cornerback has become a “massive need” for this franchise. Landing Cam Smith could give the Colts a solid starter-caliber DB with room to grow.

    Round 3, Pick 79: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame

    Brandon Joseph provides more defensive help for a club that yielded the fifth-most points per game — only one year after surrendering the ninth fewest.

    Round 4, Pick 106: Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

    Zack Moss — and even Deon Jackson — gave Indy’s backfield a terrific jolt when Jonathan Taylor got hurt. But Taylor will be a free agent after this season unless the Colts pay him. It would make sense for them to add a versatile three-down back in the draft.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Order

    While Roschon Johnson never operated as a bell cow at Texas, he has the frame and running style to bowl over defenders. He or someone similar could be a nice fallback plan in 2024 if Indy opts for a more robust rebuild.

    Round 5, Pick 138: Andrew Vorhees, G, USC

    “Remember the offensive line!” Candidly, I’d be surprised if the Colts wait this long to draft a lineman. They gave up 32 sacks in 2021, followed by 60 (yes, 60) last year. Some of that was due to the statuesque Matt Ryan. But let’s face it: this team won’t go far without an improved o-line.

    I believe if they snag a quarterback early, the Colts won’t wait long to start working on their line. And if they don’t (such as this mock draft shows), then they can afford to wait for a more comprehensive overhaul in 2024. Andrew Vorhees was once considered an early-round selection, so taking a chance on his upside in Round 5 is a worthwhile play.

    Round 5, Pick 162: Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton

    Despite acquiring Isaiah McKenzie in the offseason, Indianapolis is not finished at wide receiver. Someone like Andrei Iosivas could push for a No. 4 or No. 5 role out of the gate, and with room to grow.

    Round 5, Pick 169: Cory Trice, CB, Purdue

    Cory Trice brings more cornerback help. With a team like the Colts, anything could happen. They could lean heavily into their offensive playmakers, and/or their offensive line, and/or their secondary. Or, Indianapolis might go for the inside straight and secure talent at each needy spot. Easier said than done, and this mock draft offers some clues on how they could get it done.

    Round 7, Pick 221: Tiawan Mullen, CB, Indiana

    You know what they say: “You can’t have too many cornerbacks at a cornerback convention.” Tiawan Mullen might end up being an undrafted free agent. A cousin of Lamar Jackson, Mullen could be a short-term depth piece and, based on his size and depending on his development, transform into a contributor at slot corner.

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