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The Indianapolis Colts are just over a week away from the start of the 2022 NFL draft so just about everyone is trying to predict how the offseason’s biggest event will unfold.
While the Colts are finalizing their draft board ahead of the big weekend, we are going to take a look at a seven-round mock draft using The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Before the draft arrives, we will give our final predictions without using a simulator. But sometimes those simulators can give us an idea of a range of outcomes in different scenarios.
For instance, we’ve already looked at how a draft could turn out if the Colts went all-in on a quarterback prospect in this class. We also took a look at how a draft might turn out if the Colts simply passed on a quarterback altogether.
Now, we are seeing what it looks like if the Colts were to move back from their first selection at No. 42 overall in the draft:
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Colts receive: No. 50 overall, No. 103 overall
Chiefs receive: No. 42 overall
The board looked strong enough to move back eight spots while adding an extra pick at the end of the third round. While it’s no guarantee that the Colts are going to trade back, there is a lot of buzz surrounding Day 2 of this draft and the value it holds. Don’t be surprised if Chris Ballard wants to get another selection in Round 3.
Round 2 | No. 50 overall (from KC)
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The Pick: WR George Pickens, Georgia
Even after moving back, we had the pick of the litter at the wide receiver position. Pickens represents the kind of upside that first-round prospects have but a torn ACL limited him in his final season at Georgia. Don’t be fooled, though, his game is perfectly set up with upside to be a true WR1. If the Colts can get him to that ceiling, they will have a lethal combination with Michael Pittman Jr. already entrenched.
Other prospects available: EDGE Arnold Ebikiete, WR Christian Watson, WR Alec Pierce,
Round 3 | No. 73 overall (from WAS)
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The Pick: OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State
One of the best fits in this class, Lucas is likely going to be high on the Colts’ draft board. He checks almost every box from his size (6’6″, 315) to his arm length (33 7/8″) to his movement skills (4.40 short shuttle). He attended the Senior Bowl and was a team captain in 2020. He could be the left tackle of the future.
Other prospects available: TE Trey McBride, CB Joshua Williams, OT Rasheed Walker
Round 3 | No. 103 overall (from KC)
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The Pick: TE Greg Dulcich, UCLA
While I don’t truly believe Dulcich would be there with this pick, Kevin Garnett taught us that anything is possible. We already know the Colts have some interest in Dulcich due to their top-30 visit with him. He projects best as a move tight end and will likely make more of an impact in the passing game rather than as a blocker, but he could help open the middle of the field for quarterback Matt Ryan.
Other prospects available: S Damarri Mathis, TE Jelani Woods, EDGE Tyreke Smith
Round 4 | No. 122 overall
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The Pick: CB Akayleb Evans, Missouri
The Colts are adding Stephon Gilmore to the secondary, which was a fantastic move by Chris Ballard. Adding a prospect like Evans to compete for the No. 4 cornerback role would give the Colts an even stronger room. Evans probably needs more time to develop but he has the skills to be an eventual starter if he hits his ceiling.
Other prospects available: CB Josh Jobe, RB Kyren Williams, WR Danny Gray, EDGE DeAngelo Malone
Round 5 | No. 159 overall
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The Pick: EDGE Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina
Gunter is an intriguing prospect for the Colts on Day 3 because of the upside he presents as a pass rusher. He’s a great athlete with length and explosive burst off the snap. He could probably add a little more to his frame but Gunter would be an ideal addition on Day 3 as he could hold a sub-package rush role early on while the rest of his game develops.
Other players available: EDGE Alex Wright, RB Hassan Haskins, DT Ottio Ogbonnia
Round 5 | No. 179 overall (compensatory)
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The Pick: S Verone McKinley III, Oregon
The Colts added some valuable depth at safety with Armani Watts and Rodney McLeod. However, Watts is likely to be used solely on special teams. McKinley could move in immediately as the fourth safety in the rotation on defense, working in dime packages and three-safety sets. He has great instincts and incredible ball skills to be a rangy option for Indy’s defense.
Other players available: S Reed Blankenship, WR Romeo Doubs, RB Pierre Strong Jr.
Round 6 | No. 216 overall (compensatory)
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The Pick: WR Kevin Austin Jr., Notre Dame
There are character concerns with Austin Jr.’s profile and the fact that he only had one season of production is alarming. But in the sixth round, his incredible athleticism presents upside if the Colts feel the locker room can straighten out his maturity concerns.
Round 7 | No. 239 overall
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The Pick: LB Aaron Hansford, Texas A&M
Hansford is the pick here even though the Colts don’t have a need at linebacker. Though he’s a bit older at 24 years old, Hansford is still developing his game as a linebacker. He’s lengthy and rangy with the upside to be a third linebacker in the rotation. He attended the Senior Bowl and the Colts have already shown some interest.