Latest On Colts’ QB Situation

With one month remaining until the 2023 draft, teams at the top of the board are increasingly turning their attention to this year’s class of prospects. That includes the quarterback position for several teams slated to pick in the top five – such as the Colts – who find themselves in an interesting situation.

[RELATED: Colts Undecided On Lamar Jackson Offer Sheet]

Indianapolis holds the fourth overall selection, which has led to the widespread belief that they will draft a quarterback with that pick. They have a vacancy at the top of the depth chart, after their 2022 experiment with Matt Ryan failed and led to the veteran’s release. The Colts have since signed Gardner Minshew in a move which reunites him with head coach Shane Steichen, but the latter confirmed that a backup role awaits him with his new team.

“Right now, obviously, he’s coming in to just compete and be the best he can be, you know, and that’s where we’re going,” Steichen said, when asked whether Minshew could compete for the vacant starting job. “That’s where we feel he’s at right now and that’s his role right now” (h/t Brenna White of

Minshew signed a one-year deal with a maximum value of $5.5MM, giving the Colts a No. 2 option with 24 starts and 32 appearances to his name. However, the team’s Week 1 starter in 2023 has long been expected to be the signal-caller drafted with their top pick. On that note, though, The Athletic’s Zak Keefer notes that the Colts feel “pretty strongly” that the 2023 class is devoid of a can’t-miss franchise QB (Twitter link).

With the quarterback-needy Panthers and Texans slated to select first and second, respectively, there is a strong chance both Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud will be off the board before the Colts’ pick. The other top options at the position, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, are generally seen as more volatile prospects in terms of their ability to transition successfully into the NFL. Given the lack of attractive options likely to be available to Indianapolis under center, the team could be steered toward an unexpected move.

Keffer’s colleague James Boyd opines that the Colts could consider drafting the best player available at No. 4, and saving their QB pursuits for later in the draft (subscription required). A number of high-end defenders will be on the board assuming Carolina and Houston take Young and Stroud in one order or another, so Indianapolis could be well-positioned to bolster their roster on that side of the ball. Their next selection is at No. 35, which Boyd notes may be too low for the team to secure Hendon Hooker, the next highest-rated passer.

For that reason, Boyd points to a trade-down from the fourth overall pick being a possibility if the Colts aren’t sold on selecting Levis or Richardson early. Hooker, coming off a torn ACL, carries risk of his own, of course, which will make the Colts’ evaluations and plans at the QB spot a key storyline in the coming weeks.

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