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With the 2022 NFL draft set to begin Thursday night, the excitement is building for all 32 teams, including the Indianapolis Colts to add fantastic young talent to its roster.
There are sure to be many surprise trades, shocking selections and moves that will keep fans locked in throughout the weekend to see just how their favorite teams have improved.
With that hype spreading throughout the league, we will be attempting a final prediction of the upcoming draft using The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator. This mock will cover all picks that the Colts currently hold as of this writing.
We’ve looked at many scenarios and outcomes in previous mocks, including ones targeting quarterbacks and others trading back to add more picks, which seems to be a favorite move of Colts GM Chris Ballard in recent years. In this mock, however, we will attempt to simply predict the selections as they currently stand on the board.
With that, we will start the mock with Indianapolis’ first selection on Day 2 in the second round at No. 42 overall.
Round 2 | No. 42 overall (from WAS)
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The Pick: 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.
Round 3 | No. 73 overall (from WAS)
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The Pick: WR George Pickens, Georgia
The Colts get a steal with Pickens still being on the board in the third round and give the newest starting quarterback Matt Ryan another young and dynamic scoring threat to add to an ever-changing and evolving passing game.
Pickens brings a lot to like to the table in his game on tape including fantastic route running, great length, and the speed and hands to fight and win one-on-one battles in coverage at the highest levels of play in college football.
The obvious concerns with Pickens focus on his recent ACL tear last spring, and perhaps medicals could be a reason he drops more than some expect in the draft. However, the talent, production, and potential to be a top wideout in the league are very much there when you watch him play.
Putting a dominant young athlete in George Pickens across from an already impressive and still developing Michael Pittman Jr. for the upcoming season could make for a very dangerous combination in Indianapolis.
Round 4 | No. 122 overall
Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel
The Pick: IDL Matthew Butler, Tennessee
The Colts start out Day 3 turning focus to adding to the trenches up front on defense with defensive tackle Matthew Butler.
Butler possesses great explosiveness off the line for his size, with solid speed to match and attack the interior of the pocket and create pressure. Butler also possesses impressive over 33-inch arms to aid him in moving blockers aside on his path to the quarterback, which he used to notch 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2021.
Adding a young player like Butler to provide quality depth and rotate in alongside the likes of All-Pro DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart in the middle would go a long way to making this Colts defensive line even more of a force to be reckoned with this year.
Round 5 | No. 159 overall
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The Pick: OT Vederian Lowe, Illinois
The Colts next address the depth in the offensive trenches with a long-tenured blindside protector for the Fighting Illini in Vederian Lowe.
Lowe checks all the boxes a team could look for in a tackle prospect, with a whopping 52 career starts under his belt, and the ideal big frame in height and size for a left tackle with a nimble quickness to match.
There are areas that Lowe could stand to improve upon as he develops at the next level, including his hand usage and the finer points of his footwork, but Lowe would be a solid addition to compete for that starting spot up for grabs if not this season, than as soon as the next.
Round 5 | No. 179 overall (compensatory)
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The Pick: WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada
With the final selection in the fifth round, the Colts turn again to the wideout room with Doubs as the offense continues its search for even more dynamic threats to add.
Doubs, however, brings more than that as any late draft pick or undrafted player must, and an early focus for him at the pro level could come on the special teams group.
Doubs is no stranger to producing at a high level as a punt returner. In four seasons with Nevada, he totaled over 450 yards and a touchdown across just 37 returns, averaging 12.5 yards a punt. This experience along with the potential to play the gunner spot as well could be the path for Doubs to make the final roster in training camp at a very competitive position.
Round 6 | No. 216 overall (compensatory)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Pick: EDGE Alex Wright, UAB
The Colts again get good value at this selection, with the projections on where the pass rush prospect Wright might get drafted all over the board. The Colts have previously shown plenty of interest in Wright, and for good reason.
While Wright is a very raw prospect, as many late-round selections are, he possesses a great frame at 6′ 5″ and 271 pounds to grow into as he develops. Wright’s production really improved after a sophomore slump in 2020, with a great rebound in 2021. On the year, Wright produced 7.5 tackles for a loss,7 sacks, two forced fumbles, and three passes broken up.
Wright would very much be a project for this defensive to invest in alongside the many young pass rushers and free agents the team has added in recent years, and you can never have enough as more players who can get after the quarterback are always needed.
Round 7 | No. 239 overall
Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
The Pick: IOL Thayer Munford, Ohio State
With the departures of both starting right guard Mark Glowinski to the Giants, and spot starting guard Chris Reed to the Vikings, depth and competition are desperately needed on the interior of the offensive line for the Colts.
Munford provides just that coming from a career at Ohio State where he started multiple games all across the offensive line for the Buckeyes. With most projections pegging him as a guard at the next level, Munford also has useful experience at both tackle positions, which is critical for the few active depth linemen on gameday should an injury occur.
Munford would also get the chance to possibly compete with presumed starter at right guard Danny Pinter in training camp, or develop into a reliable depth option and the sixth man across the line should be able to kick out to tackle as well.