Did Jim Irsay tip Colts’ draft hand?
The Colts haven’t had any luck in finding a long-term answer at quarterback since Andrew Luck’s unexpected retirement before the 2019 season. They have had seven starters in four years.
They’ve tried free agency, the draft and the trade market.
In the post-Luck era, the Colts are 31-34 with one playoff appearance and no playoff wins.
The Colts, who own the No. 4 overall choice, are expected to draft a quarterback after hiring Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as their new head coach.
“Shane had a lot of that offensive magic, which is hard to find in this league,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday. “Offense, in my mind, can be a little more complex and takes a longer time to develop knowing that we’re going to have to find a young quarterback to develop. That’s a key factor, but he had to show the leadership, he had to show that he had a presence, and boy did he come through in that in his interview.”
Steichen, 37, helped develop Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. He will get another young quarterback to develop in 2023 as Irsay admitted Tuesday.
Irsay also let it slip that he likes Alabama quarterback Bryce Young in an off-handed comment to a question about potentially trading back.
“The Alabama guy doesn’t look bad, I’ll tell ya,” Irsay said.
The Colts might have to trade up to get Young, if that’s who they want. The Texans, with the second overall selection, also are in the quarterback market.
Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson also are highly rated prospects at the position.
“I think accuracy, decision-making and the ability to create are the three things I look at in a quarterback,” Steichen said. “Above the neck, I think the players I’ve been around -- Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Philip Rivers -- they all have one thing in common: They’re obsessed with their craft. If you can find that in a quarterback, you’re probably going to have some success.”