2023 NFL Draft: Reviewing team needs in the AFC South

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /
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NFL Draft
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

2023 NFL Draft: Indianapolis Colts

Unlike the Jaguars, the Indianapolis Colts need a quarterback. When Andrew Luck abruptly retired in August 2019, we saw Jacoby Brissett step in, followed by consecutive offseason acquisitions of Philip Rivers (2020), Carson Wentz (2021), and Matt Ryan (2022).

After a breakout campaign by Jonathan Taylor in 2021, it looked like Indianapolis was primed for another playoff run behind Taylor and Matt Ryan. The belief was that Ryan had good years left of football left and Frank Reich could get the most out of him. That didn’t work out so well.

Top Draft Needs: QB, OL, WR

Rather than continue to invest in one-year rentals and hope for the best at the most important position on the field, it’s time for the Colts to draft and develop a franchise signal caller. The rookie quarterback will have arguably the best running back in football in the backfield with him, and a big-bodied receiver in Michael Pittman Jr. already in place.

The Colts also have the highest-paid offensive line in football, though they have not performed as such this season. The Indy O-line gave up 60 sacks this season, ranking them second worst in the NFL. This type of offensive line play is the worst way to start a young quarterback’s career. The Colts have rookie Bernhard Raimann settling in nicely at left tackle and are hoping for a bounceback from left guard Quenton Nelson. Adding a lineman with guard/tackle versatility for the right side of the line would make a lot of sense.

If the Colts believe they can return to top-tier play with the current offensive line, then it would make sense to turn their attention to another pass-catcher. Rookie Alec Pierce has shown a degree of promise, but would likely benefit from more snaps in the slot. Another perimeter receiver in the draft would set up a rookie quarterback for success.