The Indianapolis Colts weren’t the only team looking for a quarterback of the future going into the 2020 draft. However, they were one of the few. Weirdly enough, the demand for the quarterback position is at an all-time low. Primarily due to the mass influx of quarterback talent during this year’s free agency period. Recently, we have seen more teams successfully land a quarterback for the present and future. With that said, the spreading out of quarterback talent led to the steal of the draft falling into the laps of the Colts. That steal was the selection of Jacob Eason out of Washington with the 16th pick of the fourth round.
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The reason that Jacob Eason was the steal of the draft for the Indianapolis Colts is what they got for an extremely low risk. Eason started all 13 games for the Washington Huskies in 2019. He would finish his collegiate career completing 64.2% of his passes for 3,132 yards and 23 touchdowns versus just eight interceptions. Eason has all the physical traits standing at a massive 6’6 and 231 pounds. His new coach Frank Reich also stated that he “had the best arm talent in the class.” The things that Eason struggles with are mobility or lack thereof, footwork, and decision making. Fortunately for the Colts, they have Philip Rivers in place for this season and likely next with the franchise tag. That gives Eason a full two years to learn from a hall of fame quarterback in Rivers and a brilliant offensive mind in Frank Reich before he has to worry about taking regular snaps if Eason can learn and develop. In waiting, then the Colts will have found their quarterback of the future.
Spoiler, there is none. The reason there is so little downside is where the Colts selected Eason. While graded initially to be a second-round pick, Eason fell to the fourth round, where the Colts finally took him. Meanwhile, the Colts selected Michael Pittman, Jonathan Taylor, and Julian Blackmon before they even got to Eason. That means the Colts got their wide receiver of the future, their running back of the future, and a safety/corner combo before they took a flier on a quarterback. That’s exactly what it was, a flier. Most fourth-round picks are. If Eason flames out and nothing becomes of his football career, then the Colts cut bait, only losing a fourth-round pick. If the Colts would’ve taken him in the second round, they don’t get one of Jonathan Taylor or Julian Blackmon. Instead, the Colts addressed their needs and took a chance on a quarterback with all the physical traits. Not many NFL draft picks come with so little risk and such massive reward potential.
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Quarterbacks are the hardest position to find. Teams get desperate and reach for quarterbacks, which sets their organizations back if they miss. Chris Ballard and the Colts instead waited patiently for the right time to take a shot on Jacob Eason with 4th round selection after drafting three future starters. Even if the potential doesn’t come to fruition, the low risk/massive reward nature of this selection makes it the steal of the draft.
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