According to Bleacher Report Matt Miller’s latest NFL Mock Draft, the Indianapolis Colts are projected to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 13th overall pick:
13. Indianapolis Colts
The Pick: QB Jordan Love, Utah State
General manager Chris Ballard has been a master at accumulating draft picks and has done well selecting impact players in his short tenure running the Colts, but after Andrew Luck’s retirement and the up-and-down play of Jacoby Brissett last year, Ballard has to make a move at quarterback. With three selections in the first two rounds, the Colts can invest No. 13 overall on the future of the quarterback position and still fill key needs with extra picks.
Jordan Love is a smart, athletic, strong-armed quarterback who struggled with turnovers on a bad Utah State team in 2019. With a new head coach and most of his weapons gone, Love forced his way to 17 interceptions. But teams are falling for his arm strength and ability to make off-schedule throws and win while on the move. As the NFL continues to evolve at quarterback, Love’s positives fit the mold teams want.
Potentially throwing a wrench into the Love plan would be a signing of Philip Rivers in free agency. While with the Chargers, Rivers was adamant about the team not drafting his replacement until he was gone, so it would be interesting to see if that same ultimatum exists in Indianapolis.
In this scenario, the Colts would select Love over Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw—both of whom Indianapolis could also be heavily interested in at that spot.
Love completed 293 of 473 passes (61.9%) for 3,402 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions in 13 starts for the Aggies this past season.
While his decision-making at times needs improvement, Love has an incredibly live arm, can throw from multiple arm angles on the move, and is very mobile.
He may have the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this draft class.
It’s just a question of whether he can reach his enormous athletic potential.
That being said, there’s no guarantee that Love will even be available at #13 for the Colts after a strong NFL Combine showing this past week in Indianapolis:
From NFL Now: The Jordan Love, um, love is real at the Combine. pic.twitter.com/nJwZpkJCrf— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2020
Love measured in at 6’3 3/4”, 224 pounds, and had a forty time of 4.74—but it was some of his effortless throws that made the many watching perform a ‘double take’ at times:
Jordan Love with a beautiful post corner concept for 40+ yards right in the bucket. #Colts pic.twitter.com/xYP3M0bwpv— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) February 28, 2020
this might’ve been the best throw of the day. pic.twitter.com/ASRRZrx68q— josh houtz (@houtz) February 28, 2020
It’s clear that the Colts could use an upgrade at quarterback—or at the very least some serious competition to challenge incumbent starter Jacoby Brissett.
The franchise has been liked to nearly every available veteran quarterback in recent weeks including Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, and Andy Dalton.
Still, drafting a top quarterback prospect is probably the most realistic means of finding a franchise quarterback for Indianapolis again—as the majority of the veteran options are either past their prime or in the twilight of their playing careers.
The Colts could still theoretically sign a veteran quarterback as a stopgap mentor to allow a rookie like Love to develop behind them for a season before fully taking over the reins in 2021.
Miller also had the Colts selecting the following prospects later on with their remaining early picks:
34. COLTS (WSH)—S Grant Delpit, LSU
44. COLTS—WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
75. COLTS—EDGE Trevon Hill, Miami
For what it’s worth, I absolutely love the selection of TCU blazing fast wide receiver Jalen Reagor, as the son of former Colts Super Bowl Champion defensive tackle Montae Reagor.
Reagor caught 43 receptions for 611 receiving yards (14.2 ypr avg) and 5 touchdown receptions in 12 starts in 2019—and also can return punts at a high level.
While Reagor tested a bit slower in his forty time than expected at 4.47 (possibly because he bulked up too much for measurements), some of his other measurables graded out as world class:
TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) February 28, 2020
42“ vertical jump (97th percentile)
11’6 broad jump (5th best ever for WR)
When he was a senior in high school, Reagor had the #1 long jump in the US at 26’0. To say he is explosive is an understatement.
On the field too, he can flat out fly.
While from purely a need standpoint, Reagor’s TCU teammate, defensive tackle Ross Blacklock would make much more sense than LSU safety Grant Delpit at #34, it still looks like a pretty intriguing draft haul for the Colts—all things considered.
Anticipation continues to build as late April quickly approaches, and the Colts are armed with a handful of early draft picks at their disposal.