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With the Indianapolis Colts seemingly standing pat at pick 4, will there be a trade-up with Arizona to secure QB3 of the Draft? This would be QB3 in terms of how the board falls, not how the Colts’ GM Chris Ballard and Co. view the top prospective QBs. There’s much discourse to be had in terms of whether or not the Colts have missed out on their guy already by letting the Carolina Panthers catapult past them on their way to No. 1 overall.

One question remains: was that the plan of Indy’s brass all along? Let’s determine that ourselves with how this board falls.


Round 1, Pick 4 | Bryce Young, QB, Alabama


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Should he somehow make it to 4, Bryce Young has to be the pick for the Colts. Size be damned, Young is the most polished QB in this class. At 5’10″ & 204lbs, people will shortchange Bryce Young, but overlook him at your own peril.

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With impeccable ball placement, phenomenal pocket presence & poise, a high football IQ and dedication, the Alabama QB has tons of translatable traits to the NFL. Pair this with a solid NFL arm that can hit at all three levels highly efficiently & escapability and there is a ton to love about Young’s game.

Considering that each of these traits was what Steichen & Ballard highlighted as criteria for their next QB, the fit is clear. The Colts get my top QB in class to orchestrate the new offense’s scheme. Other teams could be scared off by his size and prefer Stroud’s prototypical balance or chase the potential of Richardson, but the Colts get the best bet to emerge as a top 10 QB in the NFL. Richardson’s stock in particular has risen for some teams after his historic Combine performance. Should the Panthers or Texans fall in love with Richardson’s athletic profile, there is a chance Young falls to the Colts. As long as Bryce Young’s body continues to hold up, the sky is the limit.

Round 2, Pick 39 | Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

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Colts Receive

  • Round 2 Pick 39
  • Round 4, Pick 113

Panthers Receive

  • Round 2, Pick 35
  • Round 5, Pick 162

The Colts’ Defense needs to take the next step forward in 2023, and netting additional draft capital while staying within a 5-pick radius in the early stages of Day 2 can help roster reconstruction. Gaining a more consistent pass rush could be critical to that goal. New top pass rusher Samson Ebukam could help add more consistency to the rush compared to Yannick Ngakoue, but the deeper the EDGE rotation the better. Kwity Paye had a few leg injuries in 2022 which limited a semi-breakout season, while Dayo Odeyingbo continued to develop after his Achilles injury of 2020 limited his rookie season. Tyquan Lewis is also back once again but unfortunately, this acquisition follows his second straight season-ending early due to injury. Should injuries reoccur at EDGE, the Colts’ depth chart could be tested. Adding one more promising young DE should solidify the unit for the next 2 seasons at least.

Add McDonald IV to the farm of young Colts pass rushers and E-I-E-I-O, and the Colts Edge rush could look very promising. The former Cyclone has several traits that Ballard and Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley covet:

  • Explosiveness: McDonald had some of the best broad and vertical jumps in the Combine in spite of having a temperature of 104.


  • Speed: McDonald didn’t run at the combine, but his speed has been apparent on tape and at the Senior Bowl.


  • Length: Measured at nearly 35″ arms at the Combine.
  • Pass Rush Moves: While he has a decent variety of chops, swims, and counters, his favorite move is one Colts fans should be very familiar with.


McDonald IV might not be the biggest prospect with his slight 239 lb frame but was used like a bigger player at Iowa State. Often lining up inside the tackles as a 4i or 5 Technique, McDonald IV would be better utilized on the outside as a wide 9 rusher or a stand-up EDGE. Despite this misuse collegiately, Will McDonald was one of the better pass rushers in college football, posting 39.5 Tackles for Loss, 33 Sacks, and 9 Forced Fumbles in his college career.


His smaller size does mean that he can be a potential liability in run defense if Linemen get their hands on him. However, despite that frame, he was able to find separation and knife in between linemen to get to rushers. McDonald IV’s speed, acceleration, agility, and length are all top-notch, which can allow him to be used in a lot of creative ways.

With his pro comps being either Bruce Irvin (former Gus Bradley pass rusher in Seattle) or Haason Reddick (top EDGE for Eagles Defense on then-OC Shane Stiechen’s Eagles in 2022), the Indy brass could see flashes of some of their former players of yesteryear in his game. I can envision him as a LEO Gus Bradley’s defense, enabling him to be a terror to QBs while also giving him more favorable angles to crash a backfield in the run game. Add him to the EDGE rotation of Ebukam, Paye, & Odeyingbo, the Colts’ outside pass rush could be very formidable over the next couple of years.

Round 3, Pick 79 | Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina


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RAS: 9.66u


I am a big-time Rush fan, and there is a good chance Chris Ballard is, too. A star Senior Bowl performer with a dominant combine performance, Darius Rush fits a lot of what Ballard loves in CBs. With a long frame at 33.375″ arms on a 6’2″, 198lb corner, Ballard’s length requirement is checked. Combine that with being one of the fastest CBs in the draft (both in combine time and his Senior Bowl GPS speed) and Rush has a fun athletic potential that Ballard covets. After the Colts traded top CB Stephon Gilmore, adding another boundary CB became even more likely of a need to target on Day 2. The Colts likely will target a vet CB in a solid Free Agent CB market prior to the draft. A CB room of Kenny Moore II, Isaiah Rodgers Sr., a solid vet CB, and Darius Rush would be an interesting group for Gus Bradley to work with.


Beyond his athleticism, Rush has fun coverage tape to entice teams. While his press technique could use some work, Rush’s recovery speed has been phenomenal. He has shown a strong ability to mirror and match WRs as a former one himself. His football IQ in reading routes has impressed several evaluators, and paired with his athleticism in recovery can lead to big plays on the ball. Rush projects best in a Zone heavy scheme and if given time, could learn to use his size better in press to be a frightening man coverage Corner as well.

What will keep Darius Rush lower on some teams’ boards is his run defense. With bad angles to the ball and inconsistent tackling as a newer CB convert, Rush still has things to work on versus the run. He does have the size and speed to eventually become a solid CB in the run game, but learning proper angles and tackling technique could take time. Until then, be wary of outside runs in his direction as they could lead to big gains.

Round 4, Pick 105 | Andrew Vorhees, G, USC


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After addressing Edge and CB on Day 2, the Colts address iOL and snag Andrew Vorhees to begin Day 3. The former Trojan just suffered an ACL tear during combine drills, so his availability for most of the 2023 season is in jeopardy. A consensus Day 2 projected player before the combine, if the Colts are willing to be patient on Vorhees’ recovery they could get a steal on Day 3.

A freaky athlete, Vorhees has some of the best power on tape in this class. He has shown to be an absolute mauler in the run game with a strong push and grip strength. Vorhees is a powerful anchor as he uses his long frame in pass protection to stop rushers in their tracks. He is a highly experienced 6-year starter who shone in both gap and zone-blocking schemes. He allowed only 3 sacks and 30 pressures (2.4% pressure rate) in 1,248 pass-pro snaps the last 3 seasons.


Besides the ACL injury, the biggest concern with Vorhees is that he isn’t the most agile prospect. He has adequate speed and agility on tape for his size, but he isn’t in the upper echelon of OL when in space. This issue caused some pressure when Vorhees played LT, but if he stays at Guard this issue will be diminished in pass protection. If he’s asked to pull in the run game though, he might not get to the edge as quickly as some other Guards, but his reach helps compensate for that.


Chris Ballard has shown a willingness to take a chance on players recovering from injury in the draft before. S Julian Blackmon and DL Dayo Odeyingbo each suffered injuries at the end of their final collegiate seasons which caused some Week 1 availability concerns. This would be the latest an injury has occurred for a prospect Ballard has ever drafted, and due to the potential 9-month recovery time with ACL tears, Vorhees might not play until December if at all during his rookie season. Teams might not be willing to take a player on Day 2 of the draft if they have to wait that long to see him on the field, but should he fall to Round 4, Ballard could be the GM to stop his draft slide.

Round 4, Pick 113 | DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas


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RAS: 8.07


Chris Ballard has been well regarded as one of the best drafting GMs in the NFL during his time in Indy. The position group that he has hit most frequently on is Linebacker, with Anthony Walker Jr. (5th), Shaquille Leonard (2nd), Matthew Adams (7th), Zaire Franklin (7th), Bobby Okereke (3rd), & EJ Speed (5th) counted among his LB hits from 2017-2020.

With Okereke leaving for the New York Giants this offseason and Leonard coming off of injury, the LB depth chart could be tested. Zaire Franklin had a career year in the starting lineup with Leonard out, setting the franchise record for most tackles in a season. EJ Speed has shown promise in a rotational role and spot starter the last two seasons, but adding one more LB in the draft makes sense for 2022.

Enter DeMarvion Overshown: aka The Armband Bandit. This former Safety turned Linebacker for the Longhorns already models his game after Shaq Leonard, and it isn’t hard to see the parallels in their games.


Used as a WILL LB for Texas’ defense, Overshown has shown a fun playmaking skillset. With a long frame and range, the former Longhorn flew all around the field from sideline to sideline for 170+ tackles over the past 2 seasons. He utilized his speed very effectively as a blitzer, wracking up 15.5 Tackles for Loss, 6 sacks, and 38 pressures in that span as well. In coverage, Overshown has strong zone coverage instincts and has the length and speed to match up with TEs in man. He has worked on keeping the play in front of him in coverage each season and has shown gradual strides in coverage. Utilized as hybrid WILL LB/EDGE, Overshown has shown a promising array of pass rush moves and uses his length and athleticism well in both roles.



DeMarvion’s size is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it has enabled his versatility. On the other, it can be used to his detriment. Due to his thinner frame, when blockers get inside of his pads in the run, he has a harder time shedding blocks. He has shown inconsistent balance as well, enabling rushers to run past him on the ground. His missed tackle rate was 19.2% at Texas, one of the highest in the class. He can get into position to make a tackle but needs to work on his balance and wrapping up offensive playmakers to maximize his talent. If he can add more muscle mass to take on blockers and work on his agility to finish plays, Overshown would be a top-tier talent.

Round 5, Pick 138 | Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton


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RAS: 9.92


Once Parris Campbell signed with the New York Giants, the priority for the Colts to add to their WR corps went up. Some may question why I project the Colts to wait to draft a WR until Round 5. The reasons: I anticipate Chris Ballard will sign a vet WR with the Colts remaining $20.5m cap space, there was value in previous rounds, and this class is a very deep one for WRs that quality playmakers can be found as late as Round 5. Besides, next year’s class of WRs is better at the top of the draft and the Colts could very well invest a Round 1-2 pick in 2024 on one if need be.

If waiting on a WR still nets the Colts Andrei Iosivas, I think Colts fans should be well consoled. A 6’3″, 205lb WR with blazing speed, Iosivas dominated opponents athletically at Princeton. Most Ivy League athletes simply couldn’t keep up with someone that big and fast. Iosivas over the last two seasons finished with 1,633 yards and 12 TDs on just 106 catches. As appealing as his purely physical traits are (and they are very), one shouldn’t consider this former Tiger a “one-dimensional raw, go route WR”. Iosivas has showcased a level of refinement in his craft that should truly entice teams.

Andrei Iosivas has several appealing skills to bring to the table for his NFL team:

  • Hands: From 2021-2022 only 4 drops in 144 targets = 2.77% drop rate
  • Ball Skills: 18 contested catches in 34 targets = 52.94% contested catch rate (68.8% in 2022)
  • Yards After the Catch: 711 Yards after the Catch in the last 2 years, 6.7 YAC per Reception

While his speed and size can be used as a deep threat to stretch defenses vertically (something that should appeal a lot to Shane Stiechen’s scheme) that isn’t all he’s shown he can do. Andrei can make defenders miss with his speed and agility, or just overpower secondary players. With 16 missed tackles in 2022 and his aforementioned 6.7 YAC, Iosivas can certainly keep defenders on their toes.

However, Iosivas still needs some work to round out his game fully. Getting crisper cuts on his routes would help maximize his athleticism against better CBs. This is especially notable on comeback routes. His route tree in general wasn’t as well-rounded as most other WRs due to what the Princeton system asked of him, so expanding his repertoire of routes is essential to succeeding at the next level. As is the case for any Day 3 WR, becoming a more aggressive and physical blocker would help as well.

Overall, Iosivas brings an All-American track star level of speed with a big catch radius aided with reliable hands. Further polishing is required, but it is not hard to see a path for Iosivas to become a huge value selection in the Draft.

Round 5, Pick 169 | Ricky Stromberg, IOL, Arkansas


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RAS: 8.44

After the Colts selected Andrew Vorhees in Round 4, knowing full well his availability questions for 2023, the Colts double dip in the interior offensive line with Ricky Stromberg. Stromberg is another experienced offensive lineman with 44 starts in 46 games of experience. However, unlike Vorhees at USC, the Arkansas Razorbacks moved Stromberg at all 3 interior OL spots, giving him an interesting amount of versatility for the Colts to utilize. While he spent 3 seasons at Center from 2020-2022, he did play his freshman season at both Guard spots, allowing 15 pressures, 6 QB Hits, and 0 sacks. His years at Center though were arguably his best as he developed even better technique and football IQ as he gained more experience. 2022 was his best season in pass blocking as he allowed just 11 pressures, 0 QB hits, and 0 sacks.


As battle-tested as Stromberg is in pass protection against SEC opponents, he shines even better in zone blocking in the run game. The former Razorback plays with a mean streak when the ball is on the ground and isn’t afraid to put defenders into the turf. With a strong knowledge of how to work an opponent’s angles in the run game, he knows how to position himself well to take defenders out of plays. He plays with a good bend, explosive lower body, and smart hand placement/punch + grip strength. These traits shine in zone-run plays, and while he can execute man-gap concepts, it’s just not as noticeable of a strength.


However, Stromberg isn’t a perfect Center prospect. His athletic profile is good, but he isn’t the fastest or most powerful center. He is able to move most defenders out of the way laterally in the zone but isn’t quite as adept as attacking defenders vertically in man-gap due to his physical limitations. He won’t be an elite pulling Center, as sometimes defenders were a half-step past his mark when he was asked to do so. Stromberg doesn’t win with athleticism. He wins with a strong Football IQ that is rarely surprised by what SEC defenses threw at him, strong technique, and a true mauler mentality. A high-effort player who maximizes what athletic gifts he does have and keeps a strong base and anchor as the root of his game.


Stromberg could be used as a plug-and-play RG in his rookie year, which was the consistently weakest part of the Colts’ front in 2022. The Colts’ decision to pick up Center Ryan Kelly’s bonus could indicate they want to keep him for 2023, but his contract does expire after 2024. Kelly is entering his age 30 season, so the Colts should prepare to move on at some point with a successor at C. Danny Pinter is another future Center candidate Stromberg will have to compete with not only long-term but also for the starting RG spot in 2023. With the two selections of Vorhees and Stromberg early on Day 3 of the draft, it signifies both a short-term and long-term plan for the Colts iOL.

Round 7, Pick 222 | Shaquan Davis, WR, South Carolina State


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RAS: Unknown

Interior Offensive Line isn’t the only position the Colts double-dip on in this 2023 Draft. From Princeton in the Ivy League to South Carolina State HBCU in the MEAC, the Colts leave no stone unturned for a Wide Receiver who fits their profile. And if you know Ballard’s prototype (Big, long, fast WRs), then you should know that Shaquan Davis fits that mold perfectly.

A 6’4 217lb WR, Davis is already in the 91st-98th percentile in size at the WR position. His speed has been reported as fast as 4.35, though this claim remains unverified as of now. Others report him in the 4.5-4.6 speed range, even still that is a very impressive speed for a player of his size. Boasting +34″ arms further extending his frame makes him a very appealing prospect from an athletic standpoint.


With his size and speed, South Carolina State used him primarily in a deep ball role. With 18.8 Average Depth of Target (2nd highest in FBS/FCS with at least 80 targets) and 21.5 Yards per Reception in 2022, it’s clear that the Deep shot was his biggest calling card. And man did this role lead to some dominant performances, most notably in the Celebration Bowl vs Deion Sanders’ Jackson State:


He shows that even with his long stride he can get to top speed quickly, and with his basketball background he is able to stack DBs over the top to make some impressive contested catches. Davis’ skillset should find a role in Shane Steichen’s heavily vertical passing game.


However, Davis has plenty to work on, starting with his hands. While his role as a deep ball contested catcher did him no favors, the statistics still look pretty bad. He had 11 drops in 2022 and his career drop rate of 18.5% is very high even for his role. Putting the ball on the ground twice after the catch his senior year didn’t help matters either. His 40.3% contested catch numbers are solid, but there were times when he made uncontested drops deep as well. WRs coach Reggie Wayne will need to keep the JUGs machine on a lot to cut down on this issue.

Davis didn’t run a complete route tree in the intermediate and short game, so his YAC profile is pretty limited. While a similar role could be used in Steichen’s offense initially, at some point he will have to develop a more rounded route tree for long-term success in the NFL. More of a straight-line runner with some issues in sinking his hips, he needs to learn how to make sharper cuts in his routes.


As of right now, Shaq Davis is a moldable ball of clay. He has a clear skillset that can be used in Indy, has lined up in the slot and out wide, and has the physical tools to transform into something special. However, he will need to put in the work to refine his game. He might add some competition to the back of the WR corps in the meantime, but Reggie Wayne and the Colts’ play-callers get a level of polish on him we could see him emerge as a valuable playmaker for the Colts.


Shaquan Davis does also have a mutual connection with the Colts already in Shaquille Leonard. Both are represented by Malki Kawa of First Round Management. Could the Colts get another Shaq from a small school in the Carolinas represented by Kawa? We shall see come draft night.

Round 7, Pick 237 | Luke Haggard, OT, Indiana


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RAS: 8.19


The 2023 Draft concludes with Ballard’s 3rd ever in-state prospect drafted during his tenure as the Colts’ GM. The previous two? Notre Dame’s Guard Quenton Nelson and Ball State’s OL Danny Pinter. Ballard dips back into the well of local Offensive Linemen to get his first ever Hoosier: Indiana’s Luke Haggard.


An experienced LT, Haggard has started 25 games for the Hoosiers at that spot in the last 3 years. The former JUCO lineman impressed coaches in his first year as a transfer in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Once he secured the LT job in Indiana, he did a solid job for the Hoosiers in pass protection. He allowed just 47 pressures (4.77 pressure rate) and 5 sacks as a 2-year starter (2021-2022) as a full-time starter. A plus athlete at LT, Haggard combines his solid length and fleet-footed speed to get out in space well in the run game. He has shown the ability to chip inside at rushers and then react quickly to cover an outside rusher from getting to the QB. His recovery athleticism when initially beat is solid and can reset his base quickly. Overall, he is a smart player in stunt recognition and his run assignments. All while, he has enough athleticism to be used in space and length to negate power rushes.


However, Haggard’s frame and non-elite length can be his downfall. He is a bit leaner of a frame so his power isn’t the best at the point of attack. He works well in zone run blocking where he is able to use solid lateral positioning, but won’t overpower defenders in man-gap blocking. If a player gets inside his length he can be driven back and moved around. He plays a bit tall and stiff at his 6’7″ frame and needs to sink his hips better. He also lacks versatility as he has very little experience at positions outside of LT.

Haggard can provide a solid mix of pass-protecting acumen at LT and athleticism in space for zone runs with the Colts. His role would be as a backup LT to Raimann and likely wouldn’t be asked to be a swing tackle. With the Colts not re-signing Matt Pryor, the depth behind Raimann is lacking. The hope of a solid backup LT who won’t be a liability in pass protection available in Round 7 is solid value.

Jay Robins

Twitter: @RobinsLucas Instagram: Lucas._.Robins

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