Draft Day Drama: Indianapolis Colts
By Jonathan Walker
For several years now the Indianapolis Colts have been playing QB roulette, bringing in Phillip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, and now Gardner Minshew. They released veteran QB Matt Ryan on Tuesday, March 10th, 2023, leaving a void at quarterback yet again. With the 4th overall pick in this year's draft, the Colts look to stop the bleeding by selecting a QB for a change. There are a ton of Mock Drafts that have them selecting Kentucky QB Will Levis. Will Levis is a pocket passer with a rocket for an arm. That’s not all as he has shown he can use his legs to gain yards, making him almost the perfect fit for new Head Coach Shane Steichen.
In his last season in Kentucky, Will Levis threw just over 2,400 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a completion of 65.4%. Levis however had -107 rushing yards for 2 TDs. His completion percentage was higher than fellow rookies Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young. Ohio State QB C.J Stroud had a 66.3% completion rating beating Levis by a slim 1.1%. That’s pretty impressive considering Levis lost all of his weapons the year before.
My favorite game from this season is when the Kentucky Wildcats played the Missouri Tigers. Levis threw for 170 yards, 3 touchdowns going 13-19 having a 68.4% completion rating. The Wildcats beat the Tigers 21-17, the reason this is my favorite game for Will Levis is he made several great passes. He was accurate in all zones of the field, did not force too many throws, and was able to read the opposing defense very well. Levis also led the Wildcats on a 4th quarter comeback with about 5:30 left in the game by making a fantastic bullet throw on a 3rd and 11 on his own 22-yard line.
Now for the DRAMA, if the Colts do draft Will Levis who will be their starter? Would they let the 4th overall pick in the NFL draft sit behind Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew? In most cases yes, but I remember the Cardinals trading up to draft QB Josh Rosen in 2018. They regretted that choice almost immediately. In fact, they gave up their 1st, 3rd, and 5th round picks just to move up five spots. Rosen then started 13 games and went 3-10 his rookie season having only 11 touchdowns but 14 interceptions.
On the other hand, drafting a QB in the top 5 can be positive for the team. Look back at 2012 when the Colts drafted Andrew Luck. He threw for 4,734 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions with a 54.1% completion rating. Luck also rushed for 255 yards and 5 touchdowns his rookie season, winning 11 games for the Colts which is the 3rd most wins by a rookie. Luck went 53-33 during his career before he unexpectedly retired at the age of 29. The Colts can only hope Will Levis can do the same thing for them, just not retire at a young age.
With the Colts coming off a 4-12-1 season and bringing in a new Head Coach Shane Steichen, he will certainly look to make an immediate impact on the team. Bringing in a young talented player like Will Levis who could be that impact he’s looking for.
The way Levis can read defenses and make a pass in almost any tight window could be impressive to Steichen. The Head Coach-QB combo could quickly become one like the Eagles have. Last season Steichen lead the Eagles to have the #3 NFL offense in yards per game (389) and points per game (28). He was also able to lead them to be a top 5 rushing offense in the NFL, they were also able to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns all season (32).
If Shane Steichen can make Will Levis the Colt's new Franchise QB, then both of them should make that immediate impact on the offense. The Colts would have a chance to put up numbers mirroring that of the Eagles from this past season. The impact that would have for pass catchers Michael Pittman, Isaiah McKenzie, Kylen Granson, and Jelani Woods could be a huge boost for their fantasy owners. If the Levis pick is made I would certainly look to buy Michael Pittman if I could get him at a good deal. If you could get Granson, Jelani, and/or McKenzie for cheap right now, the reward could be well worth it.