This Shows How Good Colts’ QB Sam Ehlinger Was During Preseason

Sam Ehlinger, Colts
NFL Analysis Network

Coming into the offseason, arguably the biggest need for the Indianapolis Colts was the quarterback position. The team acquired Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2021 offseason, but things did not go as planned.

Wentz was unable to replicate the magic he had with Frank Reich, now the Colts head coach and former Eagles quarterback coach, which led to another change being made. Matt Ryan was acquired in a trade from the Atlanta Falcons and will hopefully stabilize the position for the team.

At 37 years old, it is fair to wonder how many more seasons Ryan will be playing for. It would not be surprising if the Colts are already working on a long-term plan at quarterback. Could that plan involve Sam Ehlinger?

Ehlinger was a sixth-round pick out of Texas in the 2021 NFL Draft. He appeared in three games as a rookie, rushing the ball three times for nine yards and not attempting a pass. If he was going to make an impact it would have to come during the preseason and he certainly accomplished that.

Ehlinger was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL this year during the preseason. He played in all three games, completing 24 out of 29 pass attempts, throwing for 289 yards with four touchdowns. That resulted in an impressive 147.8 passer rating.

According to PFF, Ehlinger was the highest-graded quarterback of the preseason as well. He received a grade of 90.6, finishing just ahead of Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears, who finished with a grade of 90.4, which was tied with Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks. Tua Tagovailoa rounded out the top four with a grade of 88.8.

While preseason games don’t count, you love to see a young player such as Ehlinger perform to that level. While he isn’t in line to be the starter in Week 1 like the other quarterbacks on that list, he has to feel good about his performance.

Ehlinger will likely open the season as the No. 3 quarterback behind Ryan and veteran Nick Foles. Getting reps in the regular season, even in practice, could be hard to come by, but playing that well in the preseason is something the coaching staff will remember.