Colts could be a team ‘worth watching’ if top WRs are available

In Peter Schrager’s first mock draft, which was released a few days ago, he had the Colts trading up from pick No. 15 to No. 9 with the Chicago Bears to select LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers.

On Thursday, Schrager appeared on the “The Pat McAfee Show” and expounded on why he had the Colts jumping up the board in his mock draft:

“I think there’s a chance the Colts make a couple calls here and move up, especially if Nabers, Odunze or Harrison falls out of that top five or six. I love Pittman and Pierce, but imagine having Nabers, Pittman and Pierce. The Bears, I look at them at No. 9, and I know Ryan Poles real well, and they love Caleb Williams, but that nine spot, the Bears have only four draft picks in this draft right now, and they don’t have a second-round pick. That nine spot could be really enticing if Nabers or Odunze falls down there to nine. Teams might be looking to trade up. It’s a mock draft. I’m just putting it out there. Planting some seeds, but I think the Colts could be a team worth watching.”

In a vacuum, adding Nabers or Washington’s Rome Odunze to the Colts’ offense makes all the sense in the world.

At his season-ending press conference, GM Chris Ballard was very clear that adding more playmaking to the offense was a priority this offseason — and certainly either Nabers or Odunze would provide that.

Odunze ranked 11th last season, averaging 17.8 yards per catch, and Nabers ranked 13th at 17.6 yards per catch. Nabers finished ninth in total YAC, with Odunze at 24th, while Odunze led college football with 783 of his yards coming on pass attempts of 20-plus yards. Nabers was second.

However, as we all know, there would be a cost for the Colts to make this jump up the draft board. In Schrager’s mock draft, he had the Colts sending Chicago their 2025 second-round pick. Although, as Schrager pointed out, the Bears only have four total picks in this year’s draft, and my guess is they would prefer to get draft capital this year rather than next if they were to trade down.

If we use the 2024 Rich Hill trade value chart to get an idea of what the Colts would have to part with, one package has the No. 15 pick (315), No. 82 (54), No. 151 (12) and No. 191 (6) for No. 9 (387) in return. This is not the only way to strike a deal, but goes to show what the Colts may have to be willing to give up if they want to make this move happen.

The Colts have seven selections in this draft. Only four teams have fewer, and having to part with two to three picks would leave them with only four or five in total.

While receiver is certainly a big need, the Colts have other positions to address as well, including in the secondary and at edge rusher. A trade of this magnitude would limit their ability to do so.

Ballard has certainly shown a willingness to move around the draft board, but his draft history tells us that he prefers to move back and accumulate assets rather than parting with draft capital to move up.

If you’re hoping that the Colts make a bold move up the draft board for a top receiver, step one in that process is having Odunze or Nabers make their way to the back end of those first 10 selections.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire