New Mock Draft Sends Colts Multiple Offensive Weapons

Frank Reich

Getty A new mock draft from Sports Illustrated has Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts targeting multiple offensive weapons in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Indianapolis Colts only have two pass catchers currently on the roster that have recorded more than 400 receiving yards in a season. One of those two pass catchers is running back Nyheim Hines.

Clearly, the Colts need offensive weapons. So it’s no surprise that wide receiver and tight end have been popular choices for Indianapolis in mock drafts this offseason.

In an all-Colts mock draft from analyst Andrew Moore of Sports Illustrated, Indianapolis landed both a wide receiver and tight end on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

First, Moore projected the Colts to select Georgia wide receiver George Pickens at No. 42 overall in the second round. Then to complete Day 2, Moore predicted the Colts to add Washington tight end Cade Otton with pick No. 73 in the third round.

Three selections later, Moore projected the Colts to draft another wide receiver — Bo Melton from Rutgers — at No. 179 overall in the fifth round.

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How George Pickens Fits with Colts

Moore has been consistent with where he predicts the Colts to go with their first pick this year. In his previous mock draft, he also projected Indianapolis to select Pickens.

“George Pickens was my pick at 42 last time and continues to be the top choice for the Colts,” Moore wrote. “At 6’3” and 201 pounds with a 77-inch wingspan, Pickens is a big-bodied wide receiver with an insane catch radius who can go up and get any ball.”

In addition to the big frame, Pickens ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds. In three seasons at Georgia, he posted 90 catches for 1,347 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

Pickens led the Bulldogs in receptions as a freshman and sophomore, but he tore his ACL in spring practice last year. He returned to play in the team’s final regular season game and the postseason.

“Pickens would be a perfect fit with the Colts, providing a great compliment to wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and giving the Colts two legitimate threats on the outside,” Moore wrote. “He embodies every single trait that the Colts want in their players and is a rugged, old-school receiver.

“While Ballard and Reich have talked about the faith they have in their current wideout group, I can’t see the Colts passing on Pickens if he is available at 42.”


Colts Targeting a Tight End?

Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard spoke highly of the team’s current top two tight ends Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson during his pre-draft press conference on April 22.

But the team did lose veteran tight end Jack Doyle to retirement this offseason, and Moore predicts Washington’s Cade Otton to be a great compliment to Alie-Cox and Granson.

“While many fans want a mismatch “F” tight end, the Colts are high on Kylen Granson to be that guy and take on a bigger role,” Moore wrote. “The more likely option is an inline “Y” tight end, which Otton would fit very well.

“Otton may not be a mismatch at tight end or someone that can take over a game, but he can be counted on to make the smart play and catch a crucial pass on third down.”

Standing at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Otton would be one of the biggest targets for new quarterback Matt Ryan this season.

Otton had 28 catches for 250 receiving yards and a touchdown in eight games as a junior last year.


How Bo Melton Fits with Colts

The Colts possess seven draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and Moore predicted three of them to go towards pass catchers.

After projecting North Dakota offensive tackle Matt Waletzko and defensive lineman Thomas Booker to the Colts at No. 122 and 159, respectively, Moore slotted Melton to Indianapolis at No. 179 overall.

Moore was complimentary of Melton’s speed and route-running ability. Melton ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the NFL Combine.

“Melton would be a great pick for the Colts in the fifth round,” Moore wrote. “While he may not be a big contributor on offense right away, he would immediately make an impact on special teams.

“This gives him a leg up on some of the other receivers on the Colts who do not play special teams, and gives him a better shot at a role on this team while he works on refining his game.”

Melton led Rutgers with 55 catches, 628 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2021.

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