The Indianapolis Colts are now a putrid 0-3 after a 25-16 road loss to the Tennessee Titans. While the season is far from over, the Colts have to start turning these losses into wins soon or this will become another lost season for the team.
It is entirely too early to close the book on the 2021 season, but it isn't too early to look at some draft prospects that the Colts could like in the 2022 class. The primary focus today will be the quarterback position.
The Colts will likely roll with Carson Wentz again in 2022, unless this season goes really south. Wentz's contract has no dead cap if he is released in 2023 (15 million dead cap if he is cut next year) so I highly doubt he is not on the team come 2022 at least.
This quarterback class is weak up top, and the Colts seem more like a team that would draft a day two quarterback and sit them for a year behind Wentz in 2022. Even if Wentz finishes the year strong and solidifies himself as the future quarterback, the Colts could still be looking at mid-round players to fill the backup job.
Jacob Eason is in his second year now and the Colts opted to have veteran Brett Hundley serve as Wentz's backup on Sunday. That should tell us all we need to know about how the Colts and Head Coach Frank Reich view Eason at the moment.
So, in today's Prospect Spotlight piece, I will be looking at a few mid-round quarterback options that could be interesting backups/developmental players for the Colts.
1.) Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
The first player we are going to take a look at is Redshirt Senior Kenny Pickett out of Pitt. Pickett is going into his fifth year seeing starting snaps at quarterback for the Panthers. The longtime quarterback is second in school history in passing yards and total offense, and he is closing in on those records held by Alex Van Pelt.
Pickett has been a tough player to evaluate, as he has struggled with some injuries throughout his career. This year he is finally healthy and he is simply putting on a show. Through four games, he has completed 74.2% of his passes for 1,342 yards and 15 touchdowns with only one interception. He is also averaging an insane 10.2 yards per attempt.
On film, he has everything you look for in a good, reliable quarterback. He has excellent mechanics and is a pinpoint passer when he is in rhythm. He has a good enough arm to fit passes into tight windows and is mobile enough to create with his legs when the pocket breaks down.
He may not be the highest ceiling prospect that there is, but at worst I see Pickett being a very good backup in the NFL.
2.) Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College
If the Colts want to go more of the raw, big-armed quarterback route again, Jurkovec is an interesting name to watch. Originally a top 60 recruit out of Pennsylvania, Jurkovec has put together a solid collegiate career.
After initially committing to Notre Dame out of high school, Jurkovec transferred to Boston College. In his lone year as a starter in 2020, he completed 61% of his passes for 2,558 yards with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. In the one game he has played this year (before getting injured), he completed 19 of 28 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
Jurkovec is a big-armed, mobile quarterback who can hit passes from anywhere on the field. He isn't afraid to attack the middle of the field either, which is a huge plus for young quarterbacks. He is dangerous outside of the pocket too, as he can make plays as a rusher or on the move as a passer.
If he can clean up his mechanics and develop more of the mental game that comes with being a quarterback, I can definitely see Jurkovec being a starting quarterback sometime in the future.
3.) Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Now this is the most interesting player on the list. A former Penn State backup, Levis was mostly used as a rushing option in the backfield. He grad transferred to Kentucky after three years with Penn State, and he is showing some real flashes as a starter.
In four games this season, Levis has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 902 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.
The interesting part about his game is that he spent an entire offseason reworking his throwing mechanics to adjust to a more pass-heavy role at Kentucky. While there are still some growing pains, he is throwing with a ton of natural velocity and accuracy in the games he has played.
He may not be ready to come out in the 2022 draft, but he is a player that really intrigues me going forward. He has a ton of natural gifts and is continually getting better every time he gets on the field. Keep an eye on this quarterback going forward.
Three Risers on Film
STUD: Adam Anderson, DE, Georgia
Georgia always churns out defensive linemen and Anderson appears to be the next stud ready for the NFL. While he is only 230 pounds, he is a pure pass rusher that is nearly impossible to block one on one. He has elite bend and explosion along with some jaw-dropping highlight plays. For a team that needs an edge pass rushing threat, the Colts should keep an eye on this pass rushing star.
Intriguing: Rasheed Walker, LT, Penn State
The Colts are likely going to need a left tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft. One of my favorite players on film thus far has been Rasheed Walker. He isn't an elite athlete, but he has superb length and grip strength to lock down pass rushers. He also plays with a bit of a mean streak, which would fit in well with the Colts' culture up front.
Sleeper: Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
While the name may bring out bad memories for Indiana fans, Riley Moss is a super intriguing prospect. A state champion hurdler in high school, Moss is an elite athlete that can mirror with any receiver in the country. He has excellent closing speed and attacks downhill well out of his zone drops. If he can take more positive steps with his instincts, I think he could surprise people and go day two in the draft.
Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.