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Colts Would Do 'Whatever It Takes' to Trade Up for Top QB in 2023 NFL Draft, GM Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 01: Chris Ballard, general manager of the Indianapolis Colts speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard confirmed he's prepared to "do whatever it takes" to move up for a quarterback the team likes in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.

The GM cautioned, however, that he and the front office will adopt a measured approach for the situation:

Angela Moryan @SidelineStormer

Ballard: We understand the magnitude of our position in the draft. <br><br>Says it's more important to be right in who you pick there, not just picking a quarterback. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Colts?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Colts</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/WISH_TV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WISH_TV</a>

For now, Indianapolis will be on the clock at No. 4. Without any additional movement, it's not a bad position from the perspective of trying to secure one of the top quarterbacks available.

The Chicago Bears (Justin Fields) and Arizona Cardinals (Kyler Murray) are already building around young QBs, leaving the Houston Texans as the only team ahead of the Colts that could plausibly snag one.

And if the Texans take Alabama's Bryce Young, that would still leave Ohio State's C.J. Stroud or vice versa. Young went second overall to Houston in Bleacher Report's newest mock draft, with Stroud falling to Indy.

There could be a cost to standing pat, though.

The Bears and/or Cardinals could trade back and make room for a more QB-needy franchise. Ballard could also develop a clear preference for Young, Stroud or another player who shoots up draft boards after the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days.

For Chicago GM Ryan Poles and whoever is hired to that position for Arizona, part of your job this offseason is that convincing Ballard that somebody else is waiting in the wings to move up and take the prospect he covets. Opportunity cost needs to be a regular part of your vocabulary.

The San Francisco 49ers successfully made the play in the 2017 draft, when they enticed the Bears to go from No. 3 to No. 2 in order to secure Mitch Trubisky.

The Colts are desperate to find another quarterback, and you wouldn't expect them to go with another veteran stopgap as they've had steadily diminishing returns with that strategy. Over the next few weeks, we'll see how deep that desperation goes within the context of the draft.