The Indianapolis Colts hold the fourth pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, and the quarterback-needy organization may have just tipped its hand on who they’d like to select in the first round.
At Tuesday’s introductory press conference for head coach Shane Steichen, Colts owner Jim Irsay told reporters the hire was made with the development of a young quarterback in mind.
“You just felt that Shane had a lot of that offensive magic, which is hard to find in this league,” Irsay said, per the Indy Star. “Offense, in my mind, can be a little more complex. It takes a lot more time to develop, knowing we’re going to have to find a young quarterback to develop, that’s a key factor.”
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The Colts have been unable to find the right quarterback since Andrew Luck abruptly retired in 2019.
The organization traded for the former No. 2 overall pick before the 2021 season, going with Carson Wentz under center.
In 2022, the Colts traded for veteran quarterback Matt Ryan, benching him after a Week 7 loss to the Tennessee Titans in favor of second-year QB Sam Ehlinger.
Ehlinger would finish the season with three starts, Ryan with 12, and veteran Nick Foles getting two starts under center.
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The Colts need a quarterback, and Irsay acknowledged the need on Tuesday while praising one prospect in particular.
“No one can shy away from the fact what quarterback means in this league,” Irsay said, “and how we have to look going forward where Shane [Steichen]and, [general manager] Chris [Ballard] really dig into this draft and really see where you’re at. Do you stay put? Do you trade up? There’s many things you can do. They took Jalen [Hurts] in the second round.”
Ballard jumped in to suggest the team could also trade back before Irsay singled out one quarterback.
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“Although the Alabama guy doesn’t look bad, I’ll tell ya,” Irsay said, referring to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.
It will be interesting to see if Young is still available as the Houston Texans – another QB-hungry team – have the second pick in the draft.