Our analyst, Landon Oliver, provides his second and final version of his predictive 2023 Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft.
In the final version of my official mock draft, I take into account things I’m hearing from around the league, in the media, and reading between the lines of what has been said by the Colts’ decision-makers. This is one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory and I think there could be quite a few surprises beginning at 2 with Houston. I’m extremely intrigued as we are only a few hours away from a new QB and the surrounding cast donning the Horseshoe.
4. Anthony Richardson, QB (Florida):
“Bet on the traits. We’re betting on the high-end, high-end traits.” – Chris Ballard
After Bryce Young goes 1 and Houston passes on a QB, Arizona is sitting on the board fielding trade offers. With so few first-round talents in this draft, they elect to stay put and go with the best defensive player on the board, leaving CJ Stroud, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson available for the Colts. With this selection, the Colts finally get their QB in potential franchise QB by selecting Richardson. If you read the tea leaves you can see why he could end up as the top option on their draft board at the position.
The QB position is changing. This isn’t the same as it was 10 or 20 years ago. In a loaded AFC, you need to take the swing on the home run option, and boy…Richardson is definitely a home run. Posting a perfect 10.00 RAS (Relative Athletic Score) at the combine, he’s the biggest athletic freak we’ve seen at the position in recent memory. What is more impressive is the small idiosyncrasies he showcases as a pure drop-back passer. From reading defenses post-snap, moving linebackers and safeties with his eyes, to the extremely impressive pocket movement and sack avoidance. If Richardson can clean up some footwork issues and soak up the knowledge from Shane Steichen and company, the Colts could have an MVP-caliber player at QB and compete in the conference for the foreseeable future. I’ve heard it’s down to Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Richardson internally in the building. I expect the upside pick from Chris Ballard.
47. Cody Mauch, G (North Dakota State):
Chris Ballard continues to add around his new franchise signal caller by trading down in the 2nd round and adding more ammunition. The Colts trade 35 to Washington for pick 47, 97, and 3rd round selection in 2024. There is a ton of interest in Mauch from Indianapolis from what I’m hearing and although it might be a gamble to move back 12 spots, they’re still able to land him at this point in the draft. With positional versatility at G/T, he can step in right away and compete with Will Fries for the starting RG position while providing depth at T. He also possesses great athleticism and mental makeup for an OL that fits perfectly with what Indy is looking to do along the OL.
79. Marvin Mims, WR (Oklahoma):
I had the Colts selecting Mims in my previous mock and if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Posting a 9.41 RAS, he lacks the size Chris Ballard covets at the WR position but on a roster full of size, he stands out with his explosion and speed. He can provide immediate production as a punt returner and special teams ace while playing in the slot on packages and stretching the field for Shane Steichen’s new offensive vision.
97. Cory Trice Jr, CB (Purdue):
Standing at 6’3” and posting a 9.65 RAS (Relative Athletic Score) at the combine, Cory Trice Jr. stays in the Indy area and joins the Colts. After starting in both press-man and Cover 3 schemes in college he is also familiar with what the Colts want to do on defense and as an elite athlete has great hip flexibility and explosion to match up 1v1 on the outside with NFL-level WRs. He needs to continue to build on his technique but with the right coaching, he can be a starting caliber DB that gives you starting-level production in the NFL.
106. YaYa Diaby, Edge (Louisville):
Elite athleticism, elite size, and finally elite production in 2022. The Colts will be interested after the show he put on at the combine, posting an RAS of 9.87 and putting the NFL officially on notice. Indy needs pass rushers after previous selections haven’t worked out and injuries sustained at the position the last few years. I can think of few better to step in and contribute quickly than Diaby.
138. Daniel Scott, S (Cal):
Senior Bowl, Team Captain, 9.94 RAS score. A Chris Ballard special. With Rodney McLeod not re-signing, the Colts could use more depth in the safety room. Scott possesses elite athleticism at the position and played in a rotational role as a deep safety in a zone-matching defense. He can come in and give immediate contributions as a special teamer while continuing to refine his instincts and technique in a depth role.
162. Owen Pappoe, LB (Auburn):
Long, rangy linebacker in the mold of what Ballard and the Colts love to draft. Posting another high RAS score with a 9.41, he is extremely raw and new to the off-ball linebacker position after being a pass-rushing linebacker. He has a natural feel for the position but lacks the reps and instincts needed for the NFL level right now. With the proper coaching, this could be a pick that pays dividends in future years like the Zaire Franklin and EJ Speed selections before.
168. Jose Ramirez, Edge (Eastern Michigan):
Another selection from my previous mock draft, Ramirez lacks size but makes up for it in bend and explosion, leading all edge rushers at the combine with a 6.95 three-cone drill. You will want to keep him away from early downs as he tends to be overpowered in the run game due to the aforementioned size issues but he has great production as a pass rusher and can give you some juice for going after opposing QBs.
221. Jake Witt, T (Northern Michigan):
Only a 1-year starter at tackle, he is extremely raw at the position but has elite athleticism (9.80 RAS) and length standing at 6’7” with 33 1/2 inch arm length. Scouts have been raving about his pro day workouts and there is a strong chance he isn’t available here, but the tape is so inconsistent due to his inexperience that the Colts could come away with a steal this late in the draft. The team drafting him will need to be patient, but the payout could be massive.
236. Carrington Valentine, CB (Kentucky):
While he didn’t participate at the combine due to a hamstring injury, I was at the UK Pro Day and had recorded a 4.35 40-time on Valentine. He can definitely book it and there is interest there from Gus Bradley and Co. The tape is all over the place on the guy and he comes in at a shade under 6’0”, but with a 7th-round pick you’re mostly drafting athletic upside and special teams play. He has great arm length and an aggressive mindset in coverage which are generally things that bode well for a late-round selection.