How the Panthers trade impacts Colts’ draft plans
A trade for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft finally went down, but it did not involve the Indianapolis Colts. However, it certainly will impact their plans at the end of April.
The Panthers moving up to the No. 1 spot signals they will take a quarterback, which means two of the top quarterback prospects will be off the board before the Colts get a chance to make their pick.
At this point, we don’t know exactly who will go with the top two picks, but it does mean the Colts won’t get to have their choice at quarterback. So if they really wanted C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson or Will Levis, two of those options likely will be gone before their pick arrives.
There’s a good chance the Colts will wind up with one of their top three options, though. What order that will be in remains to be seen, but it would be fair to speculate that Stroud, Richardson and Young are the most popular of the picks.
Levis figures to be a close fourth, but it’s difficult to know how the Colts feel about him or any of the other prospects considering how closely to the vest they keep most of their information.
This also means the Colts may need to trade up to the No. 3 pick with the Arizona Cardinals. That’s a deal that may need to get made if the Colts have their eyes on one of the top three prospects.
If Stroud and Young go with the first two picks as many believe, the Colts may want to move up one spot to secure one of Richardson or Levis, whichever they like more.
There’s still a chance a team like the Seattle Seahawks (No. 5), Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7) or Atlanta Falcons (No. 8) jump up to the No. 3 pick in a trade with the Cardinals to get a quarterback. The Detroit Lions (No. 6) are also a sleeper team who could jump the Colts.
It’s unlikely the Colts know, at this moment, who they want over the field. However, the trade the Panthers made to get to the No. 1 pick does complicate matters a bit in terms of securing the rookie quarterback they want.
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