As the month of August rolls around and training camp begins this week, there will be plenty of roster projections going around with ideas on how the Indianapolis Colts and the rest of the NFL will trim down the team to 53 players.
We have done so a few times this offseason (our latest projection here), and there are several difficult decisions to make. The Colts find themselves in an interesting predicament, though, as most assume they will keep three quarterbacks on the roster after selecting Jacob Eason in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Even though he’s unlikely to play a single snap in 2020, the common idea is that the risk of losing him to waivers is far too high to put him on the practice squad. Thus, they will have to keep him on the active roster.
However, as ESPN dished out their 53-man roster projections ahead of training camp, the Colts take that risk and carry just two quarterbacks in Phili[ Rivers and Jacoby Brissett. Here’s what ESPN’s Mike Wells, who conducted the projection, said about the quarterback position:
QUARTERBACK (2): Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett
The Colts have plenty of experience at quarterback, as Rivers and Brissett have combined for 256 career starts. Even with Rivers’ 23 turnovers, including 20 interceptions, which were the third-most in the NFL last season, he is an upgrade over the more conservative Brissett.
It would be quite a shock to see the Colts risk losing the fourth-round pick in Eason. Is it impossible? Of course not. Anything can happen in the NFL, and it wouldn’t be the first time if this specific scenario played out.
But the Colts waiving Eason in hopes of re-signing him to the practice squad is a massive risk and one they might not want to take.
Should the Colts take the risk of putting Eason through waivers, they could potentially miss out on developing a high upside prospect with a booming right arm. They would have essentially wasted a fourth-round pick on a position that has no future outlook whatsoever.
Eason wasn’t highly ranked by the Colts. They had him as a fourth-round grade on their board and felt the value was sufficient during the draft. And even though the likelihood of Eason turning into a franchise quarterback is very slim, it wouldn’t be a wise move to take that risk of losing him to a more-quarterback needy team.
Eason has the tools to be a successful signal-caller in the NFL. He has a big arm to make all of the throws and the work ethic to improve in the areas necessary.
It will be interesting to see what happens over the next month, but it would be a surprise if the Colts don’t enter the season with three quarterbacks on the active roster.