As the first round of the 2023 draft approached, we addressed the question of how high Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson would go. There was an easy case to be made that Richardson should go higher than anyone would have envisioned, given his incredibly rare physical skills and true game-changing, franchise-quarterback potential.
The Colts and G.M. Chris Ballard saw it that way, pouncing on the chance to get Richardson at No. 4.
“I didn’t want to look up and watch him be a superstar somewhere else,” Ballard said in an in-house documentary regarding the 2023 draft. “If he’s gonna be a superstar, he’s gonna be a superstar for the Colts.”
Ballard said something similar to Peter King after the choice was made.
“I would rather take the risk, the risk that he might fail, than pass on him and see him become a star somewhere else,” Ballard said in this week’s Football Morning in America column.
That’s the right mindset. It takes courage and conviction. It takes a willingness to make a conscious and deliberate roll of the dice, especially if a team believes the dice might be loaded in its favor.
The Colts believe they have it with Richardson. They were willing to take the chance that it won’t work for them and for Richardson, because they didn’t want to watch Richardson become everything he can be in some other NFL city.
It might have been Seattle or Detroit or Atlanta or Nashville. We’ll never know how it might have been because the Colts preferred not to find out.
The next question becomes whether the teams that passed on Richardson will end up experiencing the regret that Ballard was determined to avoid.