After a great collegiate career with the Texas Longhorns, quarterback Sam Ehlinger finally got to hear his name called during the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. With the No. 218 overall pick, Ehlinger was selected by the Indianapolis Colts.
Ehlinger became the sixth quarterback in Texas history to be selected in the draft since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. He joins Colt McCoy (2010), Vince Young (2006), Chris Simms (2003), Rick McIvor (1984) and Eddie Phillips (1972).
Following his selection by the Colts, Ehlinger talked to the team website about how excited he is to be in Indianapolis.
“I had a lot of great meetings with them, just talking ball,” Ehlinger said of his pre-draft contact with the Colts. “It was a great process and I really enjoyed talking with everybody. I’m just blessed to be a Colt, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.”
Ehlinger ranks near the top in most statistical categories in Texas history. Playing in 46 career games with 43 starts, Ehlinger guided the Longhorns to 27 wins, which is the fourth-most in the program’s long and rich history. Ehlinger passed for 11,436 yards — second only to Colt McCoy — with 94 touchdowns and rushed for 1,903 yards and an additional 33 touchdowns during his tenure at Texas.
“I think, first off, just learning as much as possible,” Ehlinger said. “Learning what it takes to be successful at the next level. Obviously, going into my rookie year there’s going to be a lot of learning curves, and getting great coaching and learning as much as possible is my main objective. And doing whatever it takes to help the team be successful. I mean, at the end of the day, I’m going to do whatever it takes to make everybody in the organization better.”
In 2021, Colts head coach Frank Reich will enter his fourth season with the franchise. Ehlinger talked about how excited he is to get to work with him.
“It’s such a blessing to be able to work with (Reich),” Ehlinger said. “You know, I’m just trying to soak in the moment and grow as much as possible. Like I said, I’m just trying to learn as much as possible and grow as a quarterback. … So to be able to learn under him, I can’t wait.”
After the pick was made, ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay described what Ehlinger will bring to the Colts franchise.
“He’s one of the great competitors,” McShay said. “Anyone who’s sat down with him and talked to him, you realize what you’re getting in terms of a quarterback room. And I think that’s why the Colts want to bring him in late. You know he has the toughness. You know he can make some of the throws. I think, studying his tape, he’s pretty accurate throwing the deep out and some of those outside throws. It’s the vertical ball that he struggled with. But again, he brings the leadership, the toughness, the mobility even though he only runs a 4.84. He has that presence inside the pocket. He’s gonna break a lot of tackles and extend plays. If he’s shoved into a situation where he has to play in the NFL, he’s the type of gamer who will just find a way to keep his team in it. But ultimately, if he has any chance of developing into a starter, he’s gonna have to really improve his accuracy and consistency throwing the ball down the field.”