I’ve never fancied myself as the proverbial voice of reason or, for that matter, an expert on the assessment of NFL talent.
I will also concede I do not know Colts general manager Chris Ballard all that well. Other than a few very brief conversations in the Lucas Oil Stadium press box that had nothing to do with football, there is certainly no real familiarity with each other.
Ballard’s candor at his season-ending press conference was both expected and provided no sizzle other than him again conceding he had failed in terms of this year’s team and also taking the blame for the carousel at quarterback that has occurred now with the Colts for quite some time.
While his words were calculated in a measured sense, he danced around the question that every Colts fan desperately wants to know.
Just how do you go about fixing the QB quandary, and who will be taking snaps when the Colts break camp in 2023?
While Ballard doesn’t need me to interpret his words for you, let me be blunt about the elephant in the room and say it loudly and clearly for you.
There’s isn’t even one can’t-miss quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft, and the guy calling the shots for personnel at West 56th Street knows it. Sure, there are some rather decorated college signal callers available but not one that makes any savvy evaluator of professional talent gush with envy.
Both Bryce Young of Alabama and C.J. Stroud of Ohio State showed their stuff and then some in their respective careers and turned it up a notch even more so in their farewell college bowl games, but it’s unlikely that either of these fine young men will set the NFL on fire in the initial stages of their careers. Granted their potential is high, but can they weather the calamity of being saddled on a roster that has so many other immediate pressing needs?
Then there’s Will Levis of the University of Kentucky who has size and arm strength. Levis had an up-and-down season in his final year at UK but has many of the attributes NFL scouts seek in a QB.
Ballard hit upon the uncertainty of drafting a signal caller when he stated no matter who he shoehorns into that spot, the fan base will undoubtedly cry foul if the chosen one doesn’t perform at a high level right away and lead the Colts to the playoffs. The move will be criticized, and the cries to fire the affable GM and run his new field general out of town with him too will once again ensue within the beloved Colts nation.
The wild card in all of this is owner Jim Irsay, who made a really difficult season even worse this year by playing general manager and placing an unqualified interim coach in an impossible position in terms of an attempt to restore respectability and salvage a season that was already lost.
Irsay will ultimately decide on how the Colts draft in the first round, and while that’s not surprising, it could add to the dysfunctional route this franchise is currently upon.
There’s no question Ballard must bring in a new quarterback, and the clock is ticking. Can he pull a rabbit out of his hat, and will that guy be the future of Colts football?
Stay tuned. Things are heating up and this process won’t come off without even more drama and second guessing.
Danny Bridges, who thinks Will Levis is the guy to pick, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.