Colts open to trading up No.4 pick but needs to be for someone 'worthy of it'

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The Indianapolis Colts appear ready to improve their fourth overall pick in this year's NFL Draft with general manager Chris Ballard leaving that idea wide open.

The Colts have endured four difficult years in the quarterback spot since Andrew Luck's departure in 2019, finishing the 2022 campaign with a 4-12-1 record.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young looms large as an early pick prospect, but the Colts would likely need to trade up from their No.4 pick to get access to him.

"I know all the speculation out there," Ballard told reporters at the NFL scouting combine. "To move up, there's got to be a guy worthy of it.

"Everybody has just automatically stamped that you've got to move up to one to get it right. I don't know if I agree with that. But that's going to be the narrative, and that's OK.

"If, when we meet as a staff and we say, 'OK, this is what we need to do. This is the guy for the next 10 to 15 years and we think he's the right guy,' we'll do it. But who's to say we won't get one at four?"

Ballard was clear when asked what it would take for the Colts to take an aggressive approach to acquire a QB like Young, replying: "That we were just convicted that this is no freaking doubt the guy."

During the post-Luck era, the Colts have never been better positioned to acquire a QB to solve their dilemma with the role.

Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and veteran Matt Ryan have been their most used starting QBs over the past four seasons respectively.

"It took a lot of freaking pain to get there," Ballard said in reference to earning the No.4 pick. "But when you're there, you need to take advantage of it."

The Colts will be led by new head coach Shane Steichen in the 2023 season, coming in from the Philadelphia Eagles where he was offensive coordinator to replace interim boss Jeff Saturday.