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Backup Quarterbacks for the Colts to Target

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San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Since the stunning retirement of Andrew Luck last night, the Colts are now left with a tricky situation at quarterback. Jacoby Brissett is going to start for the Colts moving forward, but there is very little depth behind him. As it stands, Phillip Walker and Chad Kelly are the only quarterbacks behind Brissett and Kelly has a 2 game suspension that he needs to serve. Both have no regular season NFL experience so the Colts may need a new backup quarterback.

The ideal backup quarterback in a Frank Reich system needs to have the following three things:

  • Timing and Anticipation
  • Short to Intermediate Throw Accuracy
  • The ability to make quick reads and the deliver the ball quickly after the snap

Of course, an NFL quarterback needs more than just those three qualities, but when dealing with backups, you can’t expect them to have a full arsenal of skills, otherwise they wouldn’t be backups! Which current NFL backup quarterbacks possess these skills and would be good players to target in a trade?


C.J. Beathard

Beathard was an experienced starter in college and in his first two seasons of his NFL career, he’s seen his passer rating rise from 69 to 81 and his completion percentage rise from 54% to 60%. The addition of Kyle Shanahan clearly helped his career and having a coach like Frank Reich could help take his career to a new level. Shanahan’s system is similar in many ways to the Reich system with a reliance on quick, rhythmic passing and an emphasis on short to intermediate passes. He has shown the ability to be a capable starter, as his offense put up an average of 20 points per game in his 5 starts last season.

Beathard is 25 years old, and could serve as a good spot starter in the future, if needed. I believe he is the prime candidate on the backup quarterback market and the Colts would be smart to target him due to the similarities in offenses, his potential and the decent of amount of experience he has as a starter.

Trade Value: 5th or 6th Round Pick


Matt Barkley

Barkley has been around the league for quite a few years now. The 28, soon to be 29 year-old is entering his 8th year in the NFL and while his future looked bleak early on in his career, he’s really turned it around the last few years and is now a relatively valuable backup for the Bills. He has shined in this year’s preseason and in his one start last season, he got the Bills a dominant win and had a great game. Barkley might be an athletically and physically limited pocket passer, but he makes smart decision and has improved his accuracy within 15 yards. He could be a quality backup who’s just entering the prime of his career.

Trade Value: 5th Round Pick


Kyle Lauletta

Lauletta is different from the two listed above him. Lauletta has been buried on the depth chart due to the drafting of Daniel Jones and hasn’t had a chance to prove himself. Known to be a good character and a good locker room guy, Lauletta would be a natural fit in the locker room and has the talent to be a very good backup quarterback in the NFL. He’s a much higher risk than Beathard or Barkley due to his inexperience, but he would be cheaper to acquire and has the potential to be just as good as those two others, if not better.

Trade Value: 7th Round Pick


Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer might be on the way out of New England due to the good play of rookie Jarrett Stidham during the preseason and training camp. The 33 year-old longtime backup and occasional starter has a ton of experience (more than anyone on this list) and has led a Texans team to the playoffs. With 38 career starts, including a playoff game, under his belt, he is a safe option to have as a backup quarterback. He hasn’t been active the last few years and with the rumours swirling about his job security, he won’t be very expensive to get. He might be the best value player on this entire list.

Trade Value: 6th or 7th Round Pick


Mike Glennon

Glennon has had a good, but not great camp for the Raiders, but has a lot of experience in the NFL and was once thought of as a potential top 20 starter in the NFL. It’s obvious that he isn’t that type of player, but he is a reliable backup for many franchises. While he isn’t a great fit in the Colts’ offense and is limited to being a pocket passer, Glennon has proven to be a steady hand at quarterback and can guide teams to win with his game manager style that won’t hurt teams.

Trade Value: 5th or 6th Round Pick