Colts 2022 Draft Grades
Over the years, General Manager Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts have been applauded for their ability to draft talented players like Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson and Jonathan Taylor. The Colts have done a great job building one of the better rosters in the NFL from top to bottom through the draft proving that they are good talent evaluators, or so my Colts 2022 draft grades would say.
The only position they have failed to address is the quarterback position. Since the retirement of Andrew Luck in 2018, the Colts have had a different primary starting quarterback every season. And this year is no different. The Colts traded for veteran quarterback Matt Ryan with hopes that he can solidify the quarterback position for at least the next few years. With that out of the way, the 2022 NFL Draft was about Indianapolis filling in a couple holes and simply acquiring talented football players.
Colts 2022 Draft Grades:
Round 2 (No. 53 overall): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
The Colts did not have a first-round pick, so their first pick didn’t come until the second round at pick number 53. With this pick, Indy went with Cincinnati receiver Alec Pierce. At 6’3, 211 pounds, Pierce put on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and jumping 40 inches. In a draft that doesn’t have a lot of big-bodied receivers, I believe that Pierce has tremendous upside and was the right pick for Indy – a team that is looking for playmakers at the receiver position.
Round 3 (No. 73 overall): Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
The Colts made three selections in the third round. And with their first, they went with another height/weight player in Virginia tight end Jelani Woods. Woods is a great vertical threat and should instantly help the Colts’ offense in the redzone because he is a true redzone target.
Round 3 (No. 77 overall): Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
It was a must that the Colts address the left tackle position. They did so by drafting Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann. Raimann showed well at the Senior Bowl and should be a player that with some NFL coaching, can develop into a starter for the Colts for many years to come.
Round 3 (No. 96 overall): Nick Cross, SAF, Maryland
I believe that with this pick the Colts decided to go best player available with this selection. In the offseason, Indy addressed the safety position and have assembled one of the better secondaries in the NFL. For that reason, I don’t believe this pick was a position of need. But regardless it was a good value pick. Plus, nowadays teams play three-to-four safeties on any given Sunday, so Cross will be a key contributor this season.
Round 5 (No. 159 overall): Eric Johnson, DL, Missouri State
Under the Ballard regime, the Colts have made a concerted effort to bolster the trenches on the defensive side of the ball. Johnson is a high-level football player and even if he doesn’t become an immediate starter the way the NFL operates now, he will definitely be a part of the rotation.
Round 6 (No. 192 overall): Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State
Ogletree is another one of those tight ends that checks all of the boxes athletically. Ogletree is another vertical threat that should be another viable tight end option for quarterback Matt Ryan. The Colts plan on being multiple next year offensively and the addition of Woods and Ogletree should allow for them to do it.
Round 6 (No. 216 overall): Curtis Brooks, DL, Cincinnati
The Colts apparently really felt that they needed to address the defensive tackle position. With their second sixth-round pick, they went with defensive tackle Curtis Brooks. Brooks is a quick interior lineman that likes to penetrate gaps and cause havoc in the backfield, which means his skillset fits perfectly with this scheme.
Round 7 (No. 239 overall): Rodney Thomas II, CB, Yale
With their last pick in the draft, the Colts went back to the defensive side of the ball and went with Rodney Thomas, a defensive back from Yale. Thomas should be an immediate contributor on special teams, while he develops his role on the team defensively.
The Colts entered this draft with a solid foundation already in place. They just needed to continue to fill in holes with talented football players. It was evident to me that Indy was looking to draft players that were good athletes and still have a high upside for development .With that being said, I thought they got good value at most picks but there were still a couple questionable picks, which resulted in me giving them a B for a draft grade.
Overall Grade: B
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