The 2022 season is nearly over, and the Indianapolis Colts will be among the many teams looking for a new quarterback going into the 2023 offseason.
While a lot of decisions need to be made before the process even begins for the 2023 NFL draft, Jordan Reid of ESPN unveiled a mock draft that had the Colts taking a potential franchise quarterback.
At No. 5 overall in this mock draft, the Colts selected Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud.
“The Colts have played musical chairs at quarterback since the abrupt retirement of Andrew Luck in 2019, which means they could be aggressive in this draft to trade up for the guy they want. In this scenario, the music officially stops, and the team secures its QB of the future in Stroud, a traditional pocket passer who has clean footwork and solid body mechanics. In an offense that already has building-block players like Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr. and Quenton Nelson, Stroud would have early help as Indianapolis builds around his skill set.
He finished 2022 second in the FBS in Total QBR (88.8) and TD passes (41), whereas Indianapolis’ 37.8 QBR and 15 TD throws are both bottom-six numbers.”
Stroud will be a popular name for Colts fans over the next few months. In this mock draft, only one other quarterback was off the board—Alabama’s Bryce Young was taken No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans.
Stroud’s stock rose significantly following his stellar outing against Georgia in the semifinals. Even though Ohio State lost, Stroud put up an immaculate performance on the big stage, completing 23-of-34 passes for 348 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions. He also added 12 carries for 34 rushing yards—doubling the amount of carries he’s had in a single game the entire season.
Stroud will be an interesting point of discussion this offseason. His profile as a traditional pocket passer doesn’t fall in line with the new era of quarterbacks that have entered the league, making a name for themselves by making plays out of structure and with their legs.
We’ll see what the offseason has in store for the Colts, but Stroud will be among the most popular names over the next few months.