Jim Irsay may have tipped his hand on whom Colts hope to draft


(Audacy) With a knack for telling it like it is, Colts owner Jim Irsay has never had much of a filter. And while his transparency is admirable on some level, it also can make Irsay a liability, with his loose-lipped tendencies often creating unnecessary problems for a team and organization that would probably benefit from playing everything a bit closer to the vest.

In a sport in which secrecy and discretion are rewarded, Irsay’s penchant for oversharing reared its ugly head again Tuesday when the Colts held a press conference to introduce former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichem as their new head coach. Irsay let it slip that, if it were up to him, he’d select Alabama quarterback Bryce Young in the NFL Draft in late April. The Colts hold the No. 4 pick but have also indicated they'll consider trading up. The Bears hold the No. 1 pick.

Young, who won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore before placing sixth this past season, finished his Alabama tenure with 8,356 career passing yards and 80 touchdowns, both second in program history. Despite being undersized at 6-foot and 194 pounds, the 21-year-old Young is still viewed as a consensus top-10 prospect, checking in at No. 4 on Mel Kiper’s latest gig board. Of course, with the Bears shopping the No. 1 pick and the Houston Texans expected to draft a quarterback at No. 2, Young might not make it to the Colts if they stand pat at No. 4.

Following their failed Matt Ryan experiment -- which came on the heels of similar reclamation projects with Carson Wentz and Philip Rivers -- the Colts find themselves in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, something they haven’t had since Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired in 2019.

For all we know, Irsay could be devising an elaborate smoke screen, throwing teams off the scent with a masterful bait and switch. But if the Colts have indeed identified Young as the cream of the quarterback crop, teams bullish on him will either have to trade up or pivot to another quarterback prospect, perhaps Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Kentucky's Will Levis.

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