The Colt’s gamble on quarterback Anthony Richardson in the NFL draft.

The Colt's gamble on quarterback Anthony Richardson in the NFL draft.

The Colt’s gamble on quarterback Anthony Richardson in the NFL draft. The Indianapolis Colts may be able to shake their post-Andrew Luck blues.

Following Luck’s departure, the Colts began signing veterans near the conclusion of their careers, hoping to squeeze one more season out of them before moving on. Due to Matt Ryan’s poor play last season, the Colts dropped to the fourth overall choice in the 2023 NFL Draft. The quarterback position required immediate attention.

The Colts certainly should have taken the safe route with their selection.

Anthony Richardson has one of the widest ranges of possible outcomes of any quarterback, if not ever. Would it be shocking if Richardson converted his phenomenal athleticism into a couple of MVP seasons? Or, would it be a massive surprise if Richardson, who only made 13 starts in college and has many doubts about his NFL readiness, never honed those impressive abilities and faded quickly through the ranks?

Read more: Alabama has signed former Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner.

With this combination, everything is possible. That’s why it’s so entertaining. You could put your money on a quarterback who can become an all-star if you spend a lot of money on the position. Without a doubt, Richardson possesses that.

When he was drafted, Richardson immediately became one of the most physically imposing quarterbacks in the NFL. Perhaps no quarterback has ever had a better workout at the combine than he did. At 6 feet 4 and 244 pounds, he did a 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. His vertical leap of 40 1/2 inches and a broad jump of 10’9″ set new records in the combine. He possesses a world-class arm and scored 12 touchdowns while rushing for 1,116 yards in college. In terms of his body, Richardson leaves no room for doubt. Chris Ballard, general manager of the Colts, claimed that they decided to pursue him a month ago. The reason for this is apparent.

New Colts coach Shane Steichen told reporters following the selection, “He can spin it.” He has a giant arm.

The Colts would be set for quite some time if it were only necessary to be a physical specimen to play quarterback. However, there is more to the tale. Richardson’s shaky technique has caused him to make some off-target throws. Wishcasting teams will now use Josh Allen as the new standard when predicting improvement from inaccurate college quarterbacks.

For better accuracy, “I think the one thing we’re seeing in the league now is, guys, you can work on and get them more accurate,” Ballard said. You can do a few things if you focus on footwork, principles, and the basics. You’ve probably seen men in this league jump before. I expect to see him make a spry exit.

Richardson may have a little downtime to focus on maturation. Bridge QB Gardner Minshew II is on Colt’s roster. While Ballard tried to preach patience with the raw rookie (“Let’s not expect him to be Superman from day one,” Ballard said, “some quarterbacks take a season or more to develop”), fans won’t have much patience. Draft choices in the fourth round rarely sit out a whole season. Keeping him out of the starting lineup will be challenging when he performs well in training and the preseason games. Even though the Colts have more talent than most teams who draft in the top five, it will be challenging to be patient if they get off to a slow start with Minshew this season.

Richardson is one of the few quarterbacks drafted in the top five who should sit out an entire season. How long the Colts can wait to make him the starter will be an exciting test.

Like the rest, “he’s going to have growing to do,” Ballard said. But we will assist him. We’ll train him to be an excellent player.

The Colts could not have made a more pivotal selection. To put it simply.

WINNERS

Eagles of Philadelphia: The 2022 Eagles were the most incredible NFL team overall and nearly won the championship. They might have drafted the best player available on Thursday.

The Eagles traded up to get Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at No. 9, moving up from No. 10. The Eagles were able to select tenth thanks to a draft day trade with the New Orleans Saints. After a car accident that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy, Carter pleaded not guilty to reckless driving and racing charges and had a terrible pro day exercise. Some groups avoided him as a result. The Eagles pounced when he lost his footing.

After that, the Eagles bolstered their front seven by selecting Georgia edge defender Nolan Smith as the 30th overall choice.

But the fate of Philadelphia’s draft class rests in Carter’s hands. During the previous season, Carter was frequently called the most excellent prospect in this year’s draft class. He’s a big guy who can hold his own for long periods at tackle. There are additional doubts about him, but the Eagles have enough cap space to take a chance on his potential. He fills a void in their defensive rotation inside. This move may be monumental for Philadelphia.

To acquire Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. with the third overall pick, the Cardinals executed a tricky and potentially game-changing exchange with the Houston Texans. If the Texans don’t make a giant leap this season, the Cardinal’s first-round pick in 2024 from the trade return is valuable. According to any draft value table, the Cardinals came out on top in that deal. That extra first (the Texans’ pick, not the one acquired from the Cleveland Browns in the Deshaun Watson trade) could end up being as high as the first overall selection if Houston continues to struggle.

The Cardinals then traded back up to the sixth overall pick. They selected Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr., a tackle discussed as a potential pick for the team in the days preceding the draft. The Cardinals desperately need talent, and new GM Monti Ossenfort has been tasked with acquiring it. His original draft did well in the first round of editing.

LOSERS

Levis, Will. We remember the quarterbacks who had to sit on the bench for a spell. The draft day slip by Levis will be remembered for a long time.

Earlier this week, there was considerable (largely unjustified) talk about Levis being the first or second choice in the draft. Then he went down. Most of the teams that needed a quarterback didn’t draft him. Groups like the Seattle and Detroit Lions, who could have benefited from a young quarterback behind their seasoned starter, passed on the opportunity many times.

While I expected Levis to make some mistakes, I didn’t expect him to fall as far as he did.

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