Life after Andrew Luck took yet another turn on Saturday, as the Colts continued their quest to find a suitable replacement for the 2012 No. 1 overall pick, who retired last August because of continuing injury problems. Indianapolis selected Washington quarterback Jacob Eason in the fourth round (No. 122 overall), adding him to a quarterback room that now includes former Chargers veteran Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett.
The Colts finished 7-9 last season after elevating Brissett, who had been acquired in a trade with the Patriots in 2018. They signed Rivers to a one-year deal after the 38-year-old quarterback left the Chargers following a 16-year career. Eason likely won’t get the starting job this year, but he will certainly hav4e a chance to compete longer term, especially if Rivers plays only one season in Indianapolis.
“It’s a tricky situation, because you can have a great feel going in and you don’t know exactly where you’re going to end up,” Eason said Saturday. “I’m very fortunate I ended up in this organization, with the outstanding group of guys in that locker room. Coach [Frank] Reich is going to be awesome for me. I would have been happy if it was the first round, second round, third round. I would have been happy if I was a sixth-round pick. They believe in me, which means a lot to me, and I’m going to do my best to prove them right.”
Eason had a solid year in 2019, throwing for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. It was his first year as a starter after transferring from Georgia, where he had started as a freshman in 2016 but lost the job to Jake Fromm in 2017.
Fromm left Georgia with a year of eligibility remaining after starting the previous three seasons and leading the Bulldogs to the CFP National Championship in 2018, where Georgia lost to Alabama. His decision to leave school early may have cost him, though, as Fromm slipped all the way to the fifth round, where he was taken by the Bills. He’ll now be as a backup to Josh Allen, the Bills’ first-round pick in 2018.
Here’s how surprising a fall it was for Fromm, who had 78 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions in his three seasons at Georgia: James Morgan of Florida International went before him, as the Jets selected Morgan in the fourth round to serve as a backup for Sam Darnold, the Jets’ first-round choice in 2018.
Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton went in the sixth round to the Jaguars, who have moved on from Nick Foles after one season and installed 2019 draft choice Gardner Minshew as the starter.
The first four quarterbacks off the board were Joe Burrow of LSU (No. 1 overall to Cincinnati), Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (No. 5 to Miami), Oregon’s Justin Herbert (sixth overall to the Chargers), and Jordan Love of Utah State (26th overall to the Packers). Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts was the only quarterback taken on the second night, going in the second round to the Eagles.