2022 NFL draft: Final staff predictions for Colts at No. 42

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The Indianapolis Colts aren’t going to be on the board for the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, barring a trade up, but we’ll still make our predictions for their selection on Friday night.

It’s impossible to know how the board will look after Thursday night’s first round is completed but we have a general idea of which players the Colts could target around that range.

We dropped our final mock draft before the big event commences, and here the Colts Wire staff gives their predictions for the Colts’ pick at No. 42 overall:

Kevin Hickey: WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

AP Photo/Al Goldis

I’m just too far gone at this point. The idea of adding Moore to this offense with Matt Ryan leading the way and Michael Pittman Jr. on the outside is too tantalizing. I think the Colts will see it that way, too, even if there are several highly rated prospects still available at No. 42.

At 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Moore ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Though his size and early declare status don’t typically mesh with the history of wide receiver selections made by Chris Ballard, the potential is extremely high.

Moore shows polish when it comes to his route running, especially when it comes to in-breaking routes like the dig and slant. His footwork, suddenness and body control allows him to create separation at all levels of the field. He has outstanding hand size and concentration at the catch point while proving to have the versatility to work both in the slot and on the outside.

Moore is a fantastic complement to Pittman Jr. considering his overall traits and ability to make defenders miss after the catch. If he’s the pick at No. 42, the wide receiver room instantly looks much brighter.

Follow Kevin on Twitter (@KevinHickey11)

Cody Manning: CB Andrew Booth, Clemson

AP Photo/Sean Rayford

While most predictions for the Colts’ first pick will be a wide receiver and I understand why, after going through my pros and cons of selecting one of the positions of need for Indianapolis, I believe they will end up selecting a cornerback with their first pick. That prospect will be Andrew Booth. He’s a talented player that should be a first-round pick but due to his sports hernia, there is an expectation that he will likely drop to Day 2 of draft weekend. He would be a great fit for the Colts’ culture on the defense and be a solid starter on the opposite side of Stephon Gilmore. The athletic corner with ball skills can help the defense continue their turnover-making ways in 2022.

Follow Cody on Twitter (@CodyTalksNFL)

John Alfieri: WR George Pickens, Georgia

Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK

With the 42nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft…the Indianapolis Colts select…

After a lackluster start to the offseason, Chris Ballard and the Colts front office have gathered the right pieces together for this team to compete with the talented AFC. While Indy is in a better position this season, there are still some position groups they are lacking. Two of those spots are receiver and offensive line depth, which both could be realistic options for pick No. 42.

However, I believe the Colts add some talent and give Matt Ryan someone he can throw the ball to down the field. When asked about the receiver position earlier this month, Chris Ballard said he trusted the guys in the building, but agreed the receiver room can be expanded upon.

The two players that seem realistic at this point in the draft are Georgia receiver, George Pickens, and North Dakota State speedster, Christian Watson. Draft analysts have Watson potentially coming off the board in the first round, so it seems like Pickens is the more likely option.
His breakaway speed and catch radius are very rare for young prospects. The former five-star recruit has a lot of upside but has his share of issues as well.

Critics of Pickens say that he has “character issues” and could possibly be “immature.” Scouts publish things like this anonymously all the time, and they even said similar things about reigning defensive rookie of the year Micah Parsons. We will see if these so-called “red flags” will deter the Colts at all, but this team does have a strong foundation that could help a young player find their way.

The other concern is injuries. Pickens tore his ACL last spring, limiting him to only four games this past year. He made the most of his time on the field, hauling in five passes for 107 yards en route to a national championship.

The “boom or bust” potential of Pickens seems high, but with the other players in the building, he can contribute a lot to this offense which is in need of some firepower.

Follow John on Twitter (@alfierijohn)

Nick Melillo: TE Trey McBride, Colorado State

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

TE Trey McBride, Colorado State

McBride is the kind of pick that would easily have head coach Frank Reich grinning ear to ear. He adds multiple years of leadership as a team captain at CSU to a younger tight end room and one who also recently lost a team favorite to retirement in veteran Jack Doyle.

McBride also brings solid experience and production catching the football, with over 1,100 receiving yards in 2021, and a willingness to contribute as a blocker in the running game as well. This addition is the kind of weapon that fits what this Colts offense needs to add in terms of play-making ability like a glove.

With the right coaching and development, it would be very exciting to watch McBride’s at times raw potential at the next level grow to match the undeniable must-have traits that he’s shown at the tight end position with good speed and reliable hands catching the football and making big plays for the offense.

Follow Nick on Twitter (@CircleCity21)

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