According to the FCSScout account, the Indianapolis Colts—along with the Los Angeles Chargers are among the league teams that apparently ‘love’ James Madison University quarterback Cole Johnson ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft:
Confirmed with a source that the #Colts & #Chargers both "love" @JMUFootball QB Cole Johnson, with Colts going as far as to compare him to Matt Ryan. Interest from a bunch of teams, but Colts & LAC are enamored with him. Feeling is he will wind up a 6th-7th rd pick. #NFLDraft— Shaun (@FCSScout) March 24, 2022
The 6’5”, now bulked up 220 pound quarterback completed 287 of his 422 pass attempts (68%) for 3,779 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions during 14 starts as a sixth-year senior in 2021 for the Dukes—earning CAA Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-CAA honors among his other accolades.
Johnson had a strong Pro Day showing on Wednesday:
All eyes on Matt Corral at the Ole Miss Pro Day but if you’re looking for some late round gold in the ‘22 #NFLDraft, Cole Johnson is putting it all out there for #NFL scouts at the JMU Pro Day…— Oliver Hodgkinson (@ojhodgkinson) March 23, 2022
I'm told over 25 teams were represented at @JMUFootball Pro Day today, despite high profile Pro Days taking place at schools like Ole Miss. DL Mike Greene & QB Cole Johnson are the real deal...— Shaun (@FCSScout) March 24, 2022
Of course, the Colts now have a short-term veteran stopgap at starting quarterback, Matt Ryan, who is turning 37 years old in May, and figures to serve such a role for at least two seasons in Indianapolis.
In second-string duty, the team also seems comfortable with Sam Ehlinger, a soon-to-be second-year quarterback that the Colts selected in the 6th round out of Texas last year—but whose ceiling is probably a Case Keenum caliber top backup, which has value.
That being said, there is probably room for a developmental quarterback such as Johnson on the roster, who looks like he’ll be available in later ‘Day 3’. The Colts currently have former New York Jets’ 2020 4th round pick, James Morgan, occupying such a role.
While expectations for Johnson potentially being the ‘heir apparent’ should be tempered, the production was impressive and efficient, and it appears he has some physical tools to work with at the next level.