Can Indianapolis Colts find QB gem on Day 3 of NFL draft?
If you want a franchise quarterback, then you have to take that player in the first round.
Close to 40 percent of the league’s starting quarterbacks were drafted after Round 1. While that number can – and likely will – fluctuate after trades and the draft, at least 30 percent of the league’s franchise signal-callers this season will have been taken on Day 2 or 3.
What does that mean for Indianapolis?
The Colts shouldn’t feel compelled to take a QB in the first round – unless the team is absolutely certain they have their quarterback of the future.
Instead, Indianapolis can focus on left tackle, guard, receiver and tight end in the upcoming draft, then look for a QB in the later rounds. And history says there’s a hidden gem who is currently receiving little to no media attention.
Here are three QBs who might interest the Colts on Day 3 of the draft:
Aqeel Glass, Alabama A&M
6-foot-3, 233-pounds; No. 145 in latest Fanspeak-Jake Rigdon big board
Glass finished his career at Alabama A&M with a slew of school and conference records. A team captain since his sophomore season, Glass passed for 12,136 yards, 109 TDs and 41 INTs. He was also named as the conference offensive MVP the past two seasons.
Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic called Glass “a big, strong pocket passer with some pocket mobility,” adding that he’s “definitely interesting.”
As expected, Glass has several areas that need improvement, starting with his footwork. His delivery might also be a concern for some teams, and he’s not as consistent with his deep passes as he is with the underneath and intermediate throws, Baumgardner said. Plus, Glass’ 41 INTs have not gone unnoticed.
From Baumgardner: “On the field, the first two things that stand out about Glass are his eyes and his delivery. He completely understood the offense he was playing in, rarely making a stretch of poor decisions or reads despite having the game in his hands plenty as a high-usage thrower. He takes chances, and there are mistakes, but 11 interceptions in his last 572 throws (2020-21) isn’t too bad considering the pressure he lived under as a do-everything quarterback.”
Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana
6-foot-7, 249-pounds; No. 213
Kelley got his collegiate start at Arkansas, where he started six of the 18 games he played in over three seasons. Kelley passed for 1,483 yards and 13 touchdowns during his time in Fayetteville.
He transferred in 2019 to Southeastern Louisiana, where he set many school and conference records over the next three seasons. Kelley finished this past season with 5,124 yards passing, 44 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 73.5 percent of his pass attempts. He also had a team-high 491 yards and 16 TDs rushing. He led the FCS in passing yards, completion percentage and total offense. Kelley’s career completion percentage of 72.1 percent set the FCS record.
Kelley is a rising prospect after a solid showing at the Combine. From WalterFootball: “Kelley (6-7, 249) helped himself at the combine, where he showed off a big arm to go along with his big size. … After his strong performance in Indianapolis, Kelley could be a third-day pick who gets consideration as a developmental backup.”
Southeastern Louisiana QB Cole Kelley, an Arkansas transfer, has some intriguing tools.
Quick, fluid release motion and consistent feet. Kelley’s skillset reminds me of Bills QB Josh Allen, good arm talent, excellent size, and good enough mobility to extend and improvise plays. pic.twitter.com/oumrwk4gLu
— John Vogel (@DraftVogel) January 2, 2022
Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington
6-foot-1, 210-pounds; No. 245
Barriere was one of the most prolific passers in college football during his time at Eastern Washington, finishing with 13,808 yards passing, 121 TDs and 29 INTs, but he saved his best performance for his last season. Barriere passed for 5,070 yards, 46 TDs and just 8 INTs while completing 65.4 percent of his passes this past season. He was also a three-time team co-captain and a two-time conference offensive player of the year. Barriere won the 2021 Walter Payton Award, which goes to the best FCS offensive player.
Despite all that, the redshirt senior wasn’t invited to any postseason all-star game.
From HeroSports: “At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds with an unorthodox throwing motion and playing in a spread offense, it’s understandable why NFL teams would be somewhat hesitant to view Barriere as a draft pick. Yet his arm strength and ability to make any throw in the pocket or on the run is evident on tape.”
Got to create something special for our new Walter Payton Award winner – Eric Barriere
Wildcard: Sam Ehlinger, Texas
Sixth-round pick, 2021
Finally, don’t count out another late-round QB, Ehlinger, who was drafted with the No. 218 pick overall last year.
As expected, Ehlinger didn’t play much as a rookie. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound former Longhorn received only 18 snaps on offense all season. But Ehlinger entered the league with a strong resume, including 11,436 yards passing, 94 TDs and 27 INTs while rushing for 1,907 yards and 33 TDs in his career.
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