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Indianapolis Colts take QB first in 7-round 2023 mock draft

Here is a look at who the Colts should target in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Ohio State v Georgia
C.J. Stroud is likely to be taken in the top 4 picks, but where will he land?
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The 2022 season was a disaster for the Indianapolis Colts. They were among the league’s worst teams and saw the division-rival Jacksonville Jaguars ascend as the favorites in the division for years to come. Here is a look at their major additions and subtractions so far this offseason as well as their full seven-round mock draft.

Significant free agency additions

  • DE Samson Ebukam
  • K Matt Gay
  • QB Gardner Minshew
  • WR Isaiah McKenzie

Ebukam was the cream of the Colts’ free-agent class this offseason, though they did some interesting things on offense as well. Minshew provides depth in a quarterback room, which will almost surely feature a rookie signal caller. McKenzie also could prove to be a steal as a speed threat in the slot who may benefit from more touches than he was getting in Buffalo.

Significant free agency losses

  • LB Bobby Okereke
  • WR Parris Campbell

Though the team added one defensive playmaker in Ebukam, they lost a potentially greater one in Okereke, one of the league’s more underrated defensive players. Campbell was not the playmaker Indy had hoped he would be, but his loss on offense still hurts as the team tries to rebuild on that side of the ball.

Indianapolis Colts 7-round mock draft

  • Round 1 (No. 4): QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  • Round 2 (No. 35): OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
  • Round 3 (No. 79): WR Rashee Rice, SMU
  • Round 4 (No. 106): TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
  • Round 5 (No. 138): CB Jaylon Jones, Texas A&M
  • Round 5 (No. 162): CB Cameron Mitchell, Northwestern
  • Round 5 (No. 169): RB DeWayne McBride, UAB
  • Round 7 (No. 221): S Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame
  • Round 7 (No. 236): EDGE Jason Lewan, Southern Illinois

Priority No. 1 for the Colts is quarterback. Their pick will be largely dictated by what the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans do at No. 1 and No. 2, which is hard to predict. However, Florida’s Anthony Richardson has shot up draft boards while Alabama’s Bryce Young has long been the presumptive top pick. If those two go in the top two, Indy will pounce on Stroud at No. 4. They also could be forced to go after Will Levis or Richardson, which would probably make things tougher. Levis is a real possibility here, but no matter what, they will go with a quarterback unless they make a crazy draft day trade.

They have to protect their rookie QB, and Harrison is capable of stepping in and being a starting tackle on Day One. Rice and Kuntz are two high-upside offensive playmakers which would instantly make the Colts’ offense interesting in the first year of the rebuild. Going offense-heavy in the first couple days of the draft means the Colts will have to really hit on defensive selections in the later rounds.