Colts listed among teams most likely to improve in 2023

The Indianapolis Colts are hoping to put the disastrous 2022 season behind them quickly, an effort that could be aided by the addition of a rookie quarterback during April’s NFL draft.

It’s hard to get much worse than what the Colts put on the field last season. They did everything possible to earn the No. 4 overall pick. But Pro Football Focus believes they’re also among the teams with the best chances to improve for the 2023 campaign.

Things unspooled in a hurry for the Colts last season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be put back together almost as quickly. The Colts expected to be in contention for the AFC South when they traded for Matt Ryan last offseason, but instead, he ended up firing their head coach and finishing with the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. They now have a chance at drafting their next quarterback rather than taking endless gambles on worn-out veterans. The Colts need to nail the quarterback evaluation in this draft, with Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson each ranking inside the top 11 on the PFF big board. The odds are that one or more of those players won’t be a team’s long-term answer in the NFL, so getting that pick right could be the difference between the Colts being back there again next year and jumping back into contention in the AFC.

We’ve seen in recent seasons how poor teams can quickly turn things around by hitting on the right quarterback selection. The Cincinnati Bengals are among the teams that come to mind.

Getting the quarterback position right has been one of the failings of the Chris Ballard tenure. Opting for the perceived high-floor veteran over taking a shot on a rookie quarterback eventually came back to bite the Colts over half of a decade.

Now, they’re forced to use the No. 4 overall pick in the draft on a quarterback. Whether they stay put or trade up remains a mystery, but it’s expected that selection will be used on one of the top four quarterback prospects in the draft.

Things can turn around quickly for the Colts considering the recent success of new head coach Shane Steichen, but it likely all depends on the rate of development surrounding the incoming rookie quarterback.

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Story originally appeared on Colts Wire