The Indianapolis Colts used the 2023 NFL draft to bring in a new foundation of players with 12 selections overall throughout the offseason’s biggest weekend.
With a new quarterback in tow, some exciting athletic pieces added to the defense and some new weapons for that rookie quarterback, the analysts around the league seemed pretty pleased when we did our draft-grade roundup earlier in the month.
However, now we can quantify those grades and compare them to the rest of the league. All thanks to football analyst René Bugner, who compiled the post-draft grades for 2023 from 29 different sources.
Our friends over at Touchdown Wire put those GPAs in ranking form. The Colts came away with the third-best grade at 3.77 across the 29 analysts from Bugner’s pool.
The only two teams to grade out with a better GPA were the Philadelphia Eagles (4.12) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3.94). The Colts were tied at No. 3 with the Seattle Seahawks.
Here’s what Touchdown Wire said about the Colts:
Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who has been feeling some heat in recent years, nailed this draft, and he did it by focusing in traits-based players, which can get some GMs in trouble. Richardson could nuke the NFL in the kind of QB run game new head coach Shane Steichen just ran with Jalen Hurts in Philly, and that’s an easy like-as-like transition. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has three new big, athletic cornerbacks in Julius Brents, Darius Rush, and Jaylon Jones, who should thrive in Bradley’s single-high, island-based coverages. Josh Downs will be a great target for Richardson, and he has some aspects of his game that are similar to former Colts star T.Y. Hilton. Blake Freeland needs to add about 20 pounds to his frame to deal with NFL defenders, but he may be the best pure athlete at his position in this class. Combine star Adetomiwa Adebawore is a guy that Bradley can move around in his fronts to great effect.
Getting their franchise quarterback was the big, obvious move, but Ballard and his staff had a draft here that could open things up for a good, long time.
Though draft grades are never the end-all, be-all, the Colts did a strong job of matching value with positional need while adding elite athletes across the board. With a 12-player draft class, there’s bound to be a handful of hits.
Though this class mostly rests on the shoulders of Anthony Richardson, there are plenty of reasons for optimism that the Colts are turning the ship in the right direction.
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