Prior to the 2022 NFL Draft, just about everybody and their mother said the Indianapolis Colts needed to draft a pass catcher. After trading down in the second round, the Colts filled that need, selecting Cincinnati wide receiver Alec Pierce.
It’s safe to say quarterback Matt Ryan is pleased.
Ryan, with help from his twin sons, posted a video on Twitter welcoming Pierce to Indianapolis. The Ryan family also congratulated the wideout for going at No. 53 overall in the second round.
“Alec, congratulations, man,” Ryan said. “We’re so fired up for you. Enjoy the night with your family. Can’t wait to get to work with you.”
At the end of the video, Ryan’s sons added, “Go Colts!”
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Colts Draft Cincinnati Wide Receiver Alec Pierce
Indianapolis entered the draft with only one pass catcher on its roster that’s posted more than 400 receiving yards in a season. Furthermore, every receiver on the Colts current roster is 25 or younger.
Pierce doesn’t make the Indianapolis wide receiver core any older or more experience, but he does make the group faster and bigger. Pierce, who stands at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the NFL Combine.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein wrote that Pierce is a deep-ball threat and yet also plays very physically.
“Pierce was a mismatch as a deep-ball target at Cincinnati, but is more likely to be tabbed as a possession receiver with the ability to create some downfield trouble as a pro,” Zierlein wrote. “He plays a physical brand of ball and has combat-catch toughness, which is important because he’s not an elusive route runner.”
NFL Draft analyst Chris Trapasso wrote Pierce has minimal yards after catch potential, but complimented his fit with the Colts.
“[The Colts] love the size/athleticism specimens, and Pierce rocked his combine workout,” Trapasso wrote. “Big, tall, explosive.”
Colts Trade Down Before Drafting Alec Pierce
In typical Colts fashion since hiring Chris Ballard as general manager in 2017, Indianapolis traded down on Day 2 to acquire more draft picks.
Going into the second round, the Colts held the No. 42 overall selection. But they dealt that pick and the No. 122 selection in the fourth round to the Minnesota Vikings for the No. 53, No. 77 and No. 192 overall picks.
Georgia wide receiver George Pickens, who was a popular choice to the Colts in mock drafts this offseason, was still available at No. 42 when Indianapolis pulled the trigger on the trade with Minnesota. But Pickens went one spot ahead of No. 53 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Of course, it’s possible the Colts, who selected Pierce at No. 53, would have drafted the Cincinnati wideout even with Pickens still on the board.
To round out Day 3, Indianapolis continued to target its biggest offensive needs. At No. 73, the Colts drafted Virginia tight end Jelani Woods in the third round.
Then with the extra third-round selection gained from Minnesota, the Colts selected Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann.
At the end of the third round, Indianapolis traded again, this time sending the No. 179 overall pick and a 2023 third-round selection to the Denver Broncos to move up to No. 96. Then at No. 96, the Colts drafted Maryland defensive back Nick Cross.
While Ryan didn’t publicly welcome either Woods or Raimann to Indianapolis on social media during Day 2 of the NFL Draft, it’s probably safe to say Ryan is pleased with those two offensive picks as well.