Colts Draft Review

Dominik Williams

With the Colts’ incoming draft class of Anthony Richardson, Julius Brents, Josh Downs, and more, fans are excited to see what next season has in store.

The draft is one of the most exciting and important events in the NFL’s offseason, allowing teams to select young players out of college to fill needs on the roster. The Colts did a great job of filling their needs, like drafting another cornerback in Julius Brents after the loss of Stephon Gilmore, addressing the need for more wide receivers by taking Josh Downs, and getting depth on the offensive line by drafting Blake Freeland. However, the most glaring need of all was a quarterback, which Chris Ballard and the rest of the Colts staff took care of with the addition of stud QB Anthony Richardson.

Anthony Richardson is a 6’4”, 230 lb quarterback out of Florida. He is, without exaggeration, the most athletic quarterback ever to enter the NFL. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, which is the 4th fastest time by a QB in combine history. He also jumped 40.5 inches in the vertical jump and 10’9” inches in the broad jump, which are combine records for quarterbacks. And, even with his mobile abilities, he still has elite arm strength and is able to make 50 yard throws look effortless. With his strengths come a couple of weaknesses. He has some accuracy issues and has limited experience, only starting 13 games in college before being drafted. But with his insane raw talent and potential off the charts, Colts fans should be ecstatic about Richardson and what he brings to the team.

The Colts’ second round pick, Julius Brents, is a 6’3” cornerback from Kansas State. Brents actually grew up in Indianapolis, attending Warren Central. He has a rare blend of size and length at cornerback, being 6’3”and 198 lbs. Brents will likely work to replace Stephon Gilmore in the Colts’ secondary and should have a good chance to prove himself with the opening at the position. He is more of a zone based player rather than man-to-man coverage, which will help him fit in well with Indy’s 4-3 zone heavy defensive scheme. 

One of the most underrated picks in the draft came from the Colts in the third round: wide receiver Josh Downs out of UNC. Downs is an explosive slot receiver who should quickly find a large role in the Colts’ passing game. Although he is a smaller receiver, standing only 5’9”, fans should not be worried about his small size, as Colts’ former star receiver T.Y. Hilton was only 5’10”. Downs has very quick footwork and change of direction speed, making it easy for him to lose defenders and get open. He had an astonishing 11 receiving touchdowns in his 2022 seasons, which had him tied for 7th most TD’s among receivers in college last year. Downs was also projected by many to go early in the second round, so getting him in the third round was a steal for the Colts, and he should be able to accomplish big things in Indy.

Some more notable players taken by the Colts are BYU offensive lineman Blake Freeland, Northwestern defensive tackle Adetomiwa Adebawore, and South Carolina corner Darius Rush. Freeland should quickly find his way to a big role on the Colts’ offensive line, as that was one of the biggest focus points of the team’s offseason. With a new rookie quarterback, the team will want to make sure he stays protected behind the line, and with his massive size of 6’8” and 302 lbs, he should quickly prove himself as a good fit for the line. With the recent loss of Yannick Ngakoue, Adibawore should not have a problem finding a spot on the defensive line. His great athleticism and quickness for his size set him up for the opportunity to be great in the league. Darius Rush is yet another young DB that the Colts have obtained to help maximize the passing defense. While Rush will have to work for a big role on the team, being challenged by other young corners trying to prove themselves, he will serve as a good backup and can eventually develop into a starter.