The State of the Colts: Quarterback

Jerry Langton provides you with the "State of the Colts" beginning with his analysis of their quarterback situation heading into 2006. Find out what they'll do about it and who they may turn to on draft day.

Current status: Right now the Colts have just two quarterbacks under contract, but I don't think too many fans would complain with Peyton Manning and Jim Sorgi. While they are top players, there are mitigating factors.

Sorgi's probably never going to be an NFL starter and his contract is up after next season. He has plenty of merit as a backup, but if his contract demands are greater than his value, he's gone.

But what about Manning? He's still young, he's considered by many to be one of the best quarterbacks in history and he was a 46-yard field-goal attempt away from getting the Colts a chance at the Super Bowl last year.

But the fact remains that in his eight seasons at the helm, the Colts have gone 80-48 in the regular season and 3-6 in the playoffs. The specter that has followed Manning since college is that many believe he can't win the big game. While I don't believe it, the Colts — particularly President Bill Polian — don't take that many chances. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Manning's salary jumps from a cap-friendly $1 million in 2007 to $11.5 million in 2008.

What they'll do: My sources say that the Colts have looked at a variety of quarterbacks, ranging from sure first-day picks Brodie Croyle, Omar Jacobs and Charlie Whitehurst to near-undraftables like Central Michigan's Kent Smith.

With Manning and Sorgi solidly in the first and second positions, the Colts will be looking for a No. 3 guy. But since they cut ties with perfectly serviceable Tom Arth, it looks like they want someone they believe has more upside — say, someone who could start in 2008 if necessary. It's likely they'll grab two quarterbacks, one on the second day of the draft and one undrafted free agent.

How about: Alabama State's Tarvaris Jackson has a huge arm and enviable college stats, but has succeeded because he's so much more talented than the milieu he's played in. He's totally raw when it comes to quarterback technique, but seems like a smart kid and could respond to tutoring from Manning and offensive coordinator Tom Moore. He should be available in the 5th or 6th round.

One young passer who hasn't gotten much press, but could be an intriguing prospect is Rutgers' Ryan Hart. He's a bit skinny and isn't great at reading defenses, but has a great quick release and leadership ability. He'll get better if given a chance.

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