The 2022 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and the Indianapolis Colts still have work to do despite having made numerous splashy acquisitions. As always, Chris Ballard has taken a patient approach to free agency, much to the chagrin of Colts fans. However, a solid draft combined with a few key veteran additions could have this Colts team looking like heavy division favorites in the AFC South heading into training camp.
Today I used the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Simulator as a basis for how the draft could unfold in the coming days. PFF tends to have a pretty unreliable trade simulator, so I used Drafttek’s NFL Trade Value Chart for the one trade I made. I focused my drafting efforts on players that fit the archetype Chris Ballard generally goes for, athletic, high character, Senior Bowl attendees, and team captains. My 7 round mock draft yielded the following results:
Trade- Colts receive Pick 50, 103
Chiefs receive pick 42
The two receivers I think the Colts would take at 42 if they fell, Skyy Moore or George Pickens, were both gone at this point. Tyler Smith, the Tulsa tackle, is the only other player I could see the Colts selecting if he slid down to pick 42. In this scenario, Christian Watson was still available at pick 50, which seems unlikely, but I’m going to take advantage of the fall and make the selection here.
Pick 50: Christian Watson WR, North Dakota State
Pick 73: Zyon McCollum CB, Sam Houston St.
Chris Ballard preaches forward-thinking when it comes to roster building, and I think the athletic profile and personality of McCollum will ultimately entice Ballard here at 73. If I had to put my stamp on one pick as most likely to happen come Friday, it would be this one.
Pick 103: Cade Otton TE, Washington
Cade Otton would be an intriguing option for the Colts to add at the end of the third round. Otton fits the duality of the tight end position that Ballard has mentioned and also has room for continued growth as an explosive playmaker. It is obvious that Otton approaches run blocking with the right mentality, even if he isn’t successful every time. If he continues to add muscle mass and increase his play strength, this area of his game could improve even more. Overall, I feel like Cade Otton hasn’t gotten his fair share of exposure during this draft cycle and could end up going higher than this. If the Colts were to get him here at the end of the third round, I could see him legitimately competing for TE 1 in training camp.
Pick 122: Kyle Phillips WR, UCLA
Pick 159: Ryan Van Demark OT, UConn
Pick 179: Jason Poe IOL, Mercer
You’ve probably never heard of Jason Poe before, but be ready for this guy to make an NFL roster and do something productive on an NFL field. At Georgia’s pro day, Poe was asked by teams to work out as a fullback due to his incredible athleticism and relatively small stature for an NFL offensive lineman (6’1). Poe ran a 4.89 40 at over 300 lbs while also putting up 34 reps on the bench. Poe would start out as a depth piece along the interior that could cut his teeth early, leading the way for Jonathan Taylor in goal-to-go situations. Jason Poe is the type of player Colts fans would fall in love with.
Here’s Poe flattening Alabama linebackers while pulling earlier this year:
Folks the best pulling guard in college football plays at Mercer
Jason Poe is one #funtowatch offensive lineman pic.twitter.com/7Nn3FWJGUI
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) October 14, 2021
Pick 216: Esezi Otomewo DL, Minnesota
Pick 240: Markquese Bell SAF, Florida A&M