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The Indianapolis Colts were able to find a new quarterback in Carson Wentz and still keep their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. But could they still make a move to trade up?
While it seems unlikely, ESPN believes it could still be a possibility and went as far as suggesting they should do it in an article listing a “daring move” for all 32 teams.
For the Colts, it was making a play at moving into the top-10 to find a franchise quarterback.
Make a play for a top-10 draft pick
There are very few teams that have the requisite cap space to trade for an established starting quarterback and pay big dollars for him. The Colts, projected to have the second-most cap space in the NFL behind only the Jaguars, were one of them. They also would morph from fringe wild-card team to serious title contender with a legitimate franchise quarterback.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine that Carson Wentz is going to be that franchise quarterback. We’re not saying Wentz is going to be the worst quarterback in the league again, but his issues with accuracy and late reads last year weren’t caused purely by his supporting cast.
The Colts still need to look hard at moving up in the draft. They’re not getting Trevor Lawrence, obviously, but Justin Fields, Zach Wilson or Trey Lance could all be worth multiple first-round picks for a franchise that is so, so close to being a legitimate title contender. Wentz should be a starting point for fixing the quarterback position, not the end point.
What the Colts did last season was an excellent victory for team-building, winning 11 games even with a somewhat limited Philip Rivers. It would be a shame to see it wasted.
Moving into the top-10 is still a wonderful idea in theory, but it isn’t as practical anymore. The Colts gave up their third-round pick in 2021 and a conditional second-round pick that is likely to turn into a first in 2022. Those picks could have been some big ammo for Indy if they wanted to move up.
Picking from the No. 21 spot doesn’t make it easy to move up for a quarterback. That takes at least two first-round picks and with how many teams need a quarterback in that range, the Colts could easily get outbid.
It’s not entirely out of the cards for the Colts to move up in the draft, but it should be filed more in the “highly unlikely” cabinet at this point in the offseason.