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  • Writer's pictureTony G.

Front Office Fantasy: Indianapolis Colts

Welcome to what I hope will become the most popular segment of Jock Envy. Do you ever spend countless hours debating your team’s off-season plans? We do. Do you get spammed with emails from major universities because you asked for more information after researching what the most common degree program for a General Manager of a sports team is? Been there. Have you ever called your team’s owner, GM, or Head Coach a fucking dumbass on social media? If you said yes to any of these, then Front Office Fantasy (name subject to change) is the segment for you!

In a “Quantum Leap” style simulation, we jump into the bodies of General Managers around the sports world and breakdown what moves we would make if we were given the reigns of a pro sports franchise. In our first ever F.O.F. segment, I jump into the Front Office of the Indianapolis Colts, just before the draft.

Front Office Fantasy: Indianapolis Colts

In a matter of a month, the Colts have gone from likely to land one of the top two QB prospects to a team that seems destined to be stuck with the leftovers. No one outside of the Colts war room knows exactly what order Indianapolis has the top 4 ranked or if they are willing to settle for whichever prospect drops to them at number 4. In our first ever F.O.F., I take over as the GM for the Colts. With the draft just hours away, can I step in and put the team in position to challenge for the AFC South crown? Let’s find out.

The draft was supposed to be a time of celebration. The Colts were in position to land either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud with the number 4 pick in the draft. The Panthers jumped from the ninth pick to the top of the draft, guaranteeing that at least two of the top QB prospects will be gone by the fourth pick. Tensions are high in the draft room. Moving up to the third pick has been discussed but I don’t like what we would have to give up to get, potentially, the third best quarterback on our board. Going defense at four is also an option. But this team was built to compete now, and we need an upgrade under center to put ourselves in the mix for the division. We may just have to wait and see how the first few picks play out.

“With the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select C.J. Stroud. Quarterback, Ohio State.”

That was expected. Stroud will be a great addition to the Panthers, but we have him second on our board behind Bryce Young.

“With the second pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select Bryce Young. Quarterback, Alabama.”

That one stings. We knew Houston coveted Young, but there was a hope that they would fall in love with the athleticism of Anthony Richardson out of Florida. Our top two guys are off the board now. Arizona does not need a QB. Richardson is not our top pick, but our head coach had success developing Jalen Hurts in Philly. We still have options.

“The Arizona Cardinals have traded the third overall pick to Atlanta. With the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Falcons select Anthony Richardson. Quarterback, Florida.”

We are now at worst case scenario. Will Levis is the only QB left on our board with a first round grade. Do we really want to settle with a top 5 pick? Levis could be a special talent. But he has some issues with decision making that could take a few seasons to work out. Sitting him behind Gardner isn’t going to do him any favors either. I’m hearing a buzz that the Raiders were also in on the third pick. McDaniels is a pocket style coach. I wonder…

“The Indianapolis Colts have traded the fourth pick to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders select Will Levis. Quarterback, Kentucky.”

I’m almost positive the entire fanbase is calling for my head at this point, but I have a plan. That was the first domino that needed to fall. We added a few mid-round picks in this year’s draft, as well as a 2025 first rounder to go with the seventh pick this year. The top cornerbacks should still be available at seven. Same for the top tackles in the draft. Seattle snatched up Will Anderson Jr at number 5. Detroit took Tyree Wilson at 6.

“The Indianapolis Colts trade the seventh pick in the draft to the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay selects, Jalen Carter. Defensive Tackle, Georgia.”

So this is what the hot seat feels like. I just passed on the best defensive prospect in the draft to drop out of the top 10 and to the middle of first round. The compensation was nice. We added a second round pick in 2025, an extra third rounder both this year and next, and we also got Green Bay’s first rounder next year, and pick 15 this year. That pick should still have some value.

“With the 15th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Dalton Kincaid. Tight End, Utah.”

We now have the most athletic tight end in the draft to pair with… oh yeah. I still need to address that. But I told you, I have a plan.

“With the 35th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select, O’Cyrus Torrence. Guard, Florida.”

We’ve now added the best TE in the draft and the best guard. I won’t bore you with the rest of the draft. Just know I killed it. Still no quarterback though. But the dominos that needed to fall during the draft fell perfectly and now it is time to strike the deal that I was brought here to make.

Fast forward to a week after the draft. After some careful restructuring, we have created a sizeable amount of cap space to make one more big splash. One more bold move to put us over the top.

*duh-nuh-nuh duh-nuh-nuh* (does it do that still? I don’t have cable.)

“Breaking news from the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts have signed quarterback Lamar Jackson to a 5 year, $260 million offer sheet with the first three seasons fully guaranteed.”

That’s it. That’s how the Colts can fleece the NFL and get one of the best quarterbacks in the league for, essentially, nothing. Indy was never supposed to get a top 5 pick in this draft. Everyone viewed Matt Ryan as an upgrade over Carson Wentz and many viewed them as a Wild Card team. Picking at 15 was where they SHOULD have been. I turned that bad luck into draft packages that included an additional first round pick in each of the next two drafts, which was exactly what was needed to compensate the Ravens on Lamar’s non-exclusive tag. In the process, I also got Lamar a tight end that could mimic what he had in Baltimore with Mark Andrews and a solid O-line piece to help reduce the number of hits he takes, making a fully guaranteed 3 year portion of the contract slightly less risky. Jackson vs Mahomes in the AFC Championship game is going to be a beautiful sight.

Time to jump to the next team in need! We’ll catch you next time on Front Office Fantasy!

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