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Colts select Washington QB Jacob Eason in 4th round of NFL draft

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Colts general manager Chris Ballard thinks the brakes should be pumped before trying to anoint Jacob Eason the team’s quarterback of the future.

Eason, whom the Colts selected in the fourth round (No. 122 overall) of the NFL draft Saturday, still has to make the team, according to Ballard.

“He has talent, but there’s a long way to go,” Ballard said. “Like any of them, they have to earn it. Right now he’s competing with Chad Kelly. Philip Rivers and Jacoby [Brissett] are our first two [quarterbacks]. Let’s slow our roll a little bit in terms of tagging this guy as the next messiah walking into town. He was a fourth-round pick. We didn’t move up to the first pick of the draft. Jacob has talent. He has to work and he has to earn it.”

Eason had to sit and watch as five other quarterbacks — Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts — were picked in front of him. He had been projected by some to go late in the first round of the draft.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

“It was tough as a competitor,” Eason said. “I had heard anything from late first to early second, then it got down to the early second and it got down to the third round. It was disheartening not seeing any quarterbacks being picked. But hey, I’m super fortunate to be picked up by a great organization in a great situation in Indianapolis.”5

Finding a quarterback of the future was something the Colts had to address at some point because Rivers, Brissett and Kelly will all be free agents at the end of the 2020 season. Ballard said during his pre-draft news conference, and reiterated again Friday night, that they were not going to force the issue in selecting a quarterback in the draft.cheap nfl jerseys nike

But having Eason still available in the fourth round was an opportunity the Colts couldn’t pass up.

Eason will have the opportunity to sit and learn from Rivers, who is headed into his 17th season, in 2020. There’s no thought of making Eason the No. 2 quarterback behind Rivers. Ballard said the plan is to go with Brissett as Rivers’ backup next season. Brissett struggled late trying to replace the retired Andrew Luck last season. Brissett was 30th in the NFL in completion percentage (60.9). The Colts signed Rivers to a one-year, $25 million contract in March.

“We think he’s a starter in the league,” Ballard said about Brissett. “I mean Jacoby is continuing to get better. And he’ll continue to get better. Everything Jacoby stands for is what we believe in. He’s a great teammate. He freaking works his tail off and he’s performed. I know Jacoby has taken some hits, but some of them are unfair. Maybe some of them are unfair by me too.”

Eason, who transferred to Washington after spending his first two years at Georgia, threw for 3,332 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season with the Huskies.

“His arm talent is probably the best in the draft as far as quarterbacks go,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “His footwork needs to get better. Reading through his progression needs to get better. There are a lot of things that need work, but physically he has a lot of the tools. But we all know playing this position is a lot more than physical.”

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