Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay revealed that if quarterback Anthony Richardson was already selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, the team would have chosen Will Levis instead.
Speaking about the quarterbacks, Irsay said, “I always felt Richardson was going to be the guy that we went with early on.”, However, when asked what the team would have done if Richardson was unavailable, Irsay responded, “I think we would have taken Will Levis.” This statement is significant because the Colts selected Richardson over Levis with the fourth overall pick in the draft.
Irsay, on what the Colts would have done if Richardson was gone:
"I think we would have taken Will Levis. … We liked him."
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) April 29, 2023
In the first three picks of the draft, the Carolina Panthers took Alabama quarterback Bryce Young first overall, followed by the Houston Texans selecting Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud at number two. The Texans then traded up to the third overall pick to take Edge Will Anderson. With the fourth pick, the Colts selected Richardson over Levis.
Levis, who played college football at Kentucky, was not selected by any team for the rest of the first round, which consisted of 31 picks. Eventually, the Tennessee Titans picked him up in the second round with the 33rd overall pick.
Irsay’s statement indicates that Levis was high on the Indianapolis Colts’ draft board and could have been a strong consideration if Richardson was not available. This revelation also sheds light on the team’s evaluation process and the decision-making that went into their first-round pick.
Richardson, who played college football at the University of Florida, was considered one of the top quarterbacks in the draft. He is known for his strong arm and athleticism and was seen as a potential franchise quarterback for the Colts.
Overall, Irsay’s statement provides insight into the Colts’ draft strategy and reveals that Levis was a top target for the team in the 2023 NFL Draft. While the team ultimately chose Richardson, it will be interesting to see how both quarterbacks perform in the NFL and how their careers progress in the coming years, especially considering they’re playing each other in the same division.