The Indianapolis Colts didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. But the early indication is general manager Chris Ballard more than made up for the lack of a first-rounder with a stellar Day 2 at this year’s draft.
The early reaction from media members who follow the Colts is that Ballard and the organization had a terrific night on Day 2 picking talented prospects that fill needs.
Count NFL Draft analyst Louis Riddick of ESPN as a fan of Indianapolis’ draft picks on Day 2 as well. To conclude the Day 2 ESPN draft broadcast, Riddick mentioned the Colts as a team that can make some noise this season with its second and third-round picks.
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Indianapolis Colts Make Four Picks on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft
To begin the night, Ballard traded back from No. 42 overall to No. 53. In the deal with the Minnesota Vikings, the Colts also gave up the No. 122 selection in the fourth round and acquired picks No. 77 and No. 192.
With that trade, Indianapolis held three choices from selections No. 53 to No. 77 on Day 2. This is how Ballard spent that draft capital:
- Pick No. 53: Alec Pierce, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati
- Pick No. 73: Jelani Woods, Tight End, Virginia
- Pick No. 77: Bernhard Raimann, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan
All three of these picks were players routinely mentioned as great fits for the Colts prior to the draft. They also fill the team’s three biggest offensive needs — perhaps the biggest needs on the entire roster.
But Ballard still wasn’t done after those three solid choices. At the end of the third round, Indianapolis acquired the No. 96 pick from the Denver Broncos in the third round for the No. 179 overall selection and a 2023 third-round pick.
At No. 96 overall, the Colts drafted Maryland defensive back Nick Cross.
Colts Media Loves Day 2 Selections from Chris Ballard
It can be tricky initially grading NFL Draft picks or classes. Draft value is often found in the eye of the beholder.
But the top early takeaway is that the Colts did very well on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft.
It’s tough not to really like Pierce and Woods for Indianapolis. Both players possess great size and have a chance to make the Colts offense a lot more explosive.
They both also fill a gigantic hole. Indianapolis came into the draft badly needing a wide receiver to compete for the starting job opposite Michael Pittman Jr., who is the only wideout on the Colts roster to record a 400-plus yard receiving season in the NFL.
Pierce adds an extra dynamic to the wide receiver core, and Woods will likely be a big over-the-middle and red-zone target.
Most of the mock drafts that didn’t have the Colts going with a wide receiver in the second round predicted Indianapolis to draft an offensive tackle. Some mock drafts even projected Raimann to the Colts at No. 42 overall.
Ballard landed him at No. 77. Raimann could compete with Matt Pryor for the starting left tackle role this fall.
Trading up to draft Cross, Ballard and the Colts likely identified him as a player they really wanted. As Colts analyst Zach Hicks of Sports Illustrated tweeted, Cross should compete on special teams and could become a starter at safety in 2023.
The Colts have a chance to add to their draft class with four more selections on Day 3. Barring anymore trades, they will next pick at No. 159 overall in the fifth round and then end the day with two sixth-round picks and one seventh-round choice.