Indianapolis Colts Say Their QB-Search Focus Is On NFL Draft, Away From Lamar Jackson

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Remember the Indianapolis Colts being the only NFL team admitting publicly it could have interest in Lamar Jackson? Yeah, that idea is not necessarily dead, but it is on life support.

Everything the Colts have done in recent days and weeks has suggested they have turned away from the idea of trying to trade for Jackson.

And Colts coach Shane Steichen, asked specifically on Wednesday if Jackson or other options might draw the team’s interest away from quarterbacks in the draft, was quite succinct about the team’s view.

“We’re focused on the draft and I’m focused on the guys that are in the building right now,” Steichen said.

Colts coach Shane Steichen thinking draft as Colts avenue for landing a QB.

Steichen’s words are not the only strong clue the Colts are expecting to address their quarterback issue in the draft.


The Colts have spent the past two weeks doing serious traveling and investigating of the top four quarterback prospects in this draft. That means Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis have been under the microscope.

The team has had private workouts, meals, meetings, and impromptu talks with all four potential picks.

The Colts, a league source told OutKick, also have had at least one conversation with the Arizona Cardinals about trading up in the draft, which begins April 27.

The Colts hold the No. 4 overall pick in the first round. The Cardinals hold the No. 3 overall selection.

The Cardinals have Kyler Murray at quarterback and are seriously open to trading with a team interested in a quarterback in exchange for multiple draft picks. So teams wishing to move into a position to select one of the top QBs are targeting the Cardinals as a potential trade partner.

The Cardinals have, indeed, held at least preliminary conversations about trading their pick with multiple NFL teams other than Indianapolis.

Former Florida QB Anthony Richardson sets six NFL visits. Where will he go in the draft? (Credit: Getty Images)
Anthony Richardson has met with the Indianapolis Colts multiple times. (Credit: Getty Images)

Colts Considering Trade-Up Possibility

All of this, of course, is the Colts doing their draft homework.

But as one source told OutKick earlier this week, teams prepare multiple contingencies and conduct multiple conversations with other teams because they want to move decisively once they settle on a course of action.

And all of the Colts’ apparent contingencies point to selecting a quarterback in the draft.

This wasn’t quite so obvious as recently as a week ago when the idea of chasing Jackson had not been completely ruled out.

But it has since become more clear as the Colts have continued down the draft path and Jackson, who requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens on March 2, worked on getting free agent receiver Odell Beckham to the Ravens.

It should be said the situation can remain fluid until the first night of the draft. Factors include what quarterbacks come off the draft board ahead of Indianapolis and whether another team jumps ahead of the Colts in that first round.

But for now the Colts are, as Steichen said Wednesday, focused on that draft.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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