The Indianapolis Colts chose to prioritize defense in the 2021 NFL Draft, acquiring Carson Wentz from Philadelphia Eagles rather than trying to progress and select one of the best young quarterbacks from last year’s pool. Despite Wentz’s pedigree, this is a huge company.
Frank Reich has just started his fourth season at Indianapolis, and he started a different Week 1 quarterback over the four seasons between Wentz, Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, and Philip Rivers. Wentz was supposed to provide quality and star potential, but he appeared pedestrian to start the season likely due to his own injuries as well as offensive line injuries.
He completes just over 60 percent of his passes, has a poor 85.1 passer rating and hasn’t won any of Indianapolis’ first three games. If he continues to play like this, he won’t reach the level Indy expected when they traded a pick that could become a first round if he plays enough games.
Let’s say the Colts start waving the white flag after a few more reckless performances, effectively handing the division over to the Titans. What should they do? Give Jacob Eason start to see what he’s made of? Getting out of Wentz’s contract after the 2022 season and making sure he doesn’t get enough shots this year for that conditional choice to turn into a first round? Should they already be considering drafting a senior quarterback in next year’s draft?
Should the Colts draft a quarterback in 2022?
The 2022 class doesn’t seem as strong as the last two. Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma and Sam Howell of North Carolina were supposed to be the top two prospects, but they were disappointing early in the NCAA season.
Ole shooter Miss Matt Corral is a bit of a wild card, and Liberty’s Malik Willis and Nevada’s Carson Strong face questions about their level of competition.
Still, the Colts could select their franchise quarterback this year if Wentz starts to hit rock bottom. A bad 2021 would be three consecutive years of largely ineffective play from Wentz, and if they continue to start it late in the season with a less than 0.500 record, they risk losing their first-round pick to the Eagles. You can not do this.
If the Colts decide to bench Wentz at some point this year to protect their draft capital, they’ll likely break the relationship, which means you can expect a divorce in the offseason. The other caveat here would be to find a veteran QB on the open market in the free agency class of next year to help the signal caller who is drafted in 2022 (if that’s the way the Colts borrow).
While Wentz hasn’t been that great this season, he hasn’t really given Colts fans a ton of hope of any indication that he may be “the guy” in the future.
We know how stingy GM Chris Ballard is with his draft picks and team cap space. Don’t let him make a drastic move if things start to get worse after the 0-3 start.