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‘Leaguewide buzz’ builds about Indianapolis Colts settling on surprise QB at No. 4

After trying to capture lightning in a bottle by trading for former NFL MVP Matt Ryan in 2022, the Indianapolis Colts are back to searching for a long-term QB solution in 2023. But this time around, general manager Chris Ballard holds the fourth overall pick in a draft that is said to feature four quarterbacks worthy of being first-round picks. In a nutshell, this means the Colts have a chance of securing their QB of the future. It’s just about identifying the right skill set and hoping he lasts until the fourth pick on draft day, which is no sure thing.

Consider that C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young appear to be the consensus top two picks, which leaves others like cannon-armed athletic freak Anthony Richardson and another strong-armed QB in Kentucky’s Will Levis as the expected options available to the Colts.

Yet, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, this works to Indianapolis’ advantage, as Levis is the one the front office has their eye on.

“Will Levis and the Colts, there is a little bit of buzz leaguewide about that pairing at No. 4 overall. I texted with Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, who coached Levis for a few years with the Wildcats, he said, ‘I can just say the Colts have done their homework on Levis and left it at that. Now, they’ve done their homework on a lot of guys, but I talked to several teams who believe that there could be something there. He fits the prototype of what the Colts have typically liked in a quarterback. They like that big, sturdy, pocket-passer. So, he’s got that in spades. Not every team has loved his makeup or the way he plays, but he’s got a lot of supporters as well.”

Jeremy Fowler passing on sourced information about the Indianapolis Colts’ interest in Will Levis (H/T Bleacher Report)

Related: 2023 NFL Draft QB rankings: Bryce Young leads best quarterback prospects in NFL Draft

On one hand, at least the Colts are being realistic by targeting a player likely to be available to them. On the other hand, how much can we trust this report? It’s smokescreen season, and while the Colts are all but certain to take a QB at No. 4, there’s no guarantee Levis is their pick.

In fact, let’s think about this from an outsider’s perspective for a moment. Who does it benefit for this information to leak? Certainly not the Colts.

Imagine a scenario where another QB-needy team selecting below them is also fixated on Levis. Now they may feel pressured to try and strike a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the third overall pick. Doing so would guarantee a chance at Levis or whoever is left after the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans make their picks.

In turn, could Florida’s Anthony Richardson actually be the athlete the Colts have in mind? It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard contradictory reports about a team’s draft plans. To be clear, we’re not doubting Fowler’s informed information. We’re simply throwing caution to the wind based on previous draft scenarios. Basically, don’t believe everything you read or hear leading up to draft day.

Related: The Indianapolis Colts are setting the wrong kind of records

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