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ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay Project Colts to Go ‘SEC Heavy’ in Dual Three-Round NFL Mock Draft

The Colts would check off a lot of boxes with this draft class—which is headlined by a certain Florida quarterback.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 12 South Carolina at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts will fill a number of critical needs on draft weekend by selecting Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, Florida offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence, and South Carolina cornerback Darius Rush in their dual three-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft:

4. Indianapolis Colts

McShay’s pick: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Indy has to solve the problem under center. Richardson might not be ready to play right away, but the sky is the limit on his potential. With a huge arm and great mobility, he’d be a dynamic player running new coach Shane Steichen’s offense.

35. Indianapolis Colts

Kiper’s pick: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida

If we’re giving the Colts a quarterback in Round 1, we should help that passer here. Torrence can clear running lanes. He and Quenton Nelson would form one of the league’s most tenacious guard tandems.

79. Indianapolis Colts (from WSH)

Kiper’s pick: Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina

Rush, who ran a blazing 4.36-second 40-yard dash at the combine, gave up a few too many long catches last season, but he has tremendous traits. The Colts traded away Stephon Gilmore in March, opening up snaps at corner.

Regarding Richardson, the 6’4”, 244 pound redshirt sophomore quarterback completed 176 of 327 pass attempts (53.8%) for 2,549 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions during 12 starts this past season. He also amassed 654 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns on the ground.

Having exploded at the recent NFL Combine, Richardson may be the most athletically gifted top quarterback prospect ever. He has the well-built size, rocket arm, elite mobility, and special pocket presence to dream upon as potentially an elite quarterback in time.

However, like other young quarterbacks, he’ll need to clean up his accuracy, technique, and decision-making as he continues to develop and grow as a passer.

As a dangerous dual-threat option—featuring speed, strength, and explosiveness in the open field, he could be a dynamic fit with new Colts head coach Shane Steichen—who just deployed breakout star Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia last season in a possible similar scheme.

Meanwhile, Torrence started 11 games for the Gators this past season at right guard, blocking up front for Richardson. The 6’5”, 330 pound senior offensive guard earned consensus All-American and First-Team All-SEC honors this past season.

Known more for his sheer size than his overall athleticism, Torrence would provide the Colts with a plug-and-play starter at right guard (which remains a hole), who could be a stout and physical run blocker in their ground game, while holding his own in pass protection.

Lastly, Rush, as a former converted wideout, made 9 starts for the Gamecocks at cornerback this past year, recording 38 tackles (28 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 7 passes defensed.

At 6’2”, 198 pounds (with 33 3’8” arms), Rush has the size and length the Colts typically covet at cornerback and would project to be a potential immediate starter at outside cornerback—where the Colts lost both veterans Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Facyson.

Overall, the Colts filling three key holes within the first three rounds would be a big win—with this SEC heavy draft class.