The Indianapolis Colts showed flashes of brilliance at times in 2021, but ultimately collapsed out of a playoff spot following a shocking loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The team was limited by the erratic play of Carson Wentz, but the franchise has addressed that issue by upgrading to a more steady presence in veteran Matt Ryan.
This puts them firmly in play as one of the favorites in the AFC South. The Colts are a well-coached team with a strong running game and solid defense.
They needed to make sure that their new quarterback has a clean pocket to play at a high level, so prioritizing the offensive line and adding weapons on the outside was a priority.
Here’s a recap of the Colts’ 2022 NFL Draft class.
Colts NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 2, Pick 21 (53rd Overall): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
- Round 3, Pick 9 (73rd Overall): Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
- Round 3, Pick 13 (77th Overall): Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 32 (96th Overall): Nick Cross, S, Maryland
- Round 5, Pick 16 (159th Overall): Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State
- Round 6, Pick 13 (192nd Overall): Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State
- Round 6, Pick 38 (216th Overall): Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati
- Round 7, Pick 18 (239th Overall): Rodney Thomas, DB, Yale
The Colts entered the draft with two picks inside the top 100, but general manager Chris Ballard moved back in the second round and added additional draft capital to give Indianapolis much-needed depth.
Alec Pierce will give Matt Ryan another target on the outside in addition to Michael Pittman Jr., while former Virginia tight end Jelani Woods helps mitigate the retirement of Jack Doyle.
Perhaps the best addition of them all, however, was the selection of Central Michigan left tackle Bernhard Raimann. Indianapolis needed to bolster its offensive line to protect Ryan, and some draft experts gave Raimann a first-round grade. Getting him in the third round was great value.
Ballard mostly spent Day 3 of the draft addressing defensive depth, selecting a pair of defensive tackles and a raw defensive back prospect in Rodney Thomas.
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Note: The Colts NFL Draft predictions below were published before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pre-Draft Colts NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022
- Round 2, Pick 10 (42nd Overall): Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 9 (73rd Overall): Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
More Possible Colts Draft Targets: Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB; Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State
Bernhard Raimann is a former tight end who has transitioned to offensive tackle. He’s got immense upside due to his terrific athleticism. Sam Williams has the size, quickness, and acceleration required to make an impact as a pass-rusher.
Pre-Draft Colts Team Needs 2022
1. Offensive Tackle
Eric Fisher is currently a free agent, and it seems unlikely that he’ll be back with the team. That leaves former Eagles sixth-rounder Matt Pryor as the potential starter.
While Pryor started five games last season and earned a 76.5 overall grade at PFF, he’s still an inexperienced player. The Colts should add to this group of tackles to help offset the risk of Pryor struggling in his first full season as a starter.
They need to protect Matt Ryan at all costs.
2. Wide Receiver
Michael Pittman Jr. has shown the upside to develop into a top target in the passing game, but they need more help at wide receiver.
Parris Campbell can’t seem to stay healthy, and T.Y. Hilton is on the last legs of a strong career. They need another playmaker to pair with Pittman.
Fortunately, this is a stacked wide receiver class once again, so the Colts should be able to add to this position with ease, even on Day 2 or 3.
3. EDGE Rusher
The Colts selected defensive end Kwity Paye with their first-round pick last year, but adding another edge rusher would be a good idea in a conference flush with star quarterbacks.
The best way that this team can contend for a Super Bowl with the elite tier of the AFC is by building a defense that can rush the passer at a high level. While they recently added veteran Yannick Ngakoue, you can never have too many pass-rushers in today’s NFL.
Using a Day 2 pick on another edge rusher to combine with Paye and Ngakoue can help take this defense to the next level.
Colts May Also Consider Drafting: Tight End, Offensive Guard, Defensive Tackle