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The Indianapolis Colts decided not to trade up for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and the Carolina Panthers beat them to it. That means, no matter how things shake out, the Colts will not get one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft. That doesn’t mean the Colts won’t get a new franchise QB, though. In this three-round Colts mock draft for 2023, the team addresses that need first before getting help on both lines.

Colts Mock Draft 2023

Colts mock draft 2023, Indianapolis Colts, 2023 NFL draft
(L-R) Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts logo, Mike Morris | James Gilbert/Getty Images; Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Round 1, Pick No. 4: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Colts owner Jim Irsay ran his mouth (as usual) and professed his love for Alabama’s Bryce Young. Since then, general manager Chris Ballard has spent every waking moment walking that back.

 The GM said repeatedly the team would happily sit at No. 4 and take the best signal-caller that falls to them. And after getting trumped on the No. 1 pick trade, that looks like exactly what they’ll do.

New head coach Shane Steichen was a driving force behind developing Jalen Hurts, an uber-athletic running quarterback who many said would never become a real NFL QB. Now Steichen will try that magic again, picking another player that many, myself included, aren’t sure can become a winning quarterback in the pros.

That said, Richardson had an incredible combine performance and comes with more natural tools than Hurts. If anyone can make him come good, it’s Steichen.

Round 2, Pick No. 35: Steve Avila, OG, TCU

This three-round Colts mock draft for 2023 is going to be all about taking what Shane Steichen learned in his Super Bowl run with the Eagles. One lesson is that you build a team and ultimately win from the lines out.

The Colts offensive line will likely return four starters in 2022 in left tackle Bernhard Raimann, left guard Quenton Nelson, center Ryan Kelly, and right tackle Braden Smith. However, there are also rumors that Kelly is on the trading block.

Whether it is to replace right guard Will Fries or Kelly, TCU G/C Steve Avila is an excellent pick in the second round. At 6-foo-3 ½ and 332 pounds, Avila has versatility, size, and power. He also has a mean streak on the field while being a leader and team captain in the locker room.

By picking Avila in the 2023 NFL draft, the Colts offensive line can quickly rebound from a down season as the TCU Horned Frog becomes a starter from Week 1.

Round 3, Pick No. 79: Mike Morris, EDGE, Michigan 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Steichen should have six words going through his head at all times: pass rush, pass rush, pass rush.

One of the reasons the Eagles offense did so well in 2022 is that the Eagles defense put up 70 sacks in the regular season. On the Colts defensive line, Yannick Ngakoue is a free agent, and Kwity Paye still hasn’t reached his potential yet as a pass-rusher.

In fact, no Colts defender put up double-digit sacks last season, and that needs to change. And the way to change it in this three-round Colts mock draft for 2023 is by taking advantage of a post-combine faller, Michigan pass-rusher Mike Morris.

Morris put up rough numbers at the combine with a 4.95 40-yard dash, 28.5-inch vertical, and just 22 bench press reps. However, at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, he can play inside or outside in multiple schemes, and he had 11 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks for the Wolverines last season.

He may not have tested well, but as a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft, he’ll be a steal for the Colts as a guy who knows how to play football.


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