The Indianapolis Colts do not have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft thanks to the Carson Wentz trade last offseason. But that doesn’t completely rule out the Colts possessing the opportunity to select a player on Day 1 of the draft.
NFL analyst Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report writes the Colts could acquire a different first-rounder via a trade.
In an article that named one trade that makes sense for each team, Davenport proposed a trade where the Colts received the No. 21 overall pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, along with a 2022 sixth-rounder and a 2023 fourth-round selection from the New England Patriots.
In the proposed trade, the Colts sent their 2022 second-round pick (No. 42 overall), 2023 first-rounder and 2023 fifth-round selection to the Patriots.
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Colts Going All In?
Davenport argued that trading for Wentz and then Matt Ryan this offseason signifies that the Colts are focused on winning now. Therefore, the analyst argued the Colts should go “all-in.”
“Regardless of how you feel about those transactions, it’s clear that general manager Chris Ballard is serious about winning now,” Davenport wrote. “And if that’s the case, Indy might as well go all the way with it.
“The Colts are a good team. But they aren’t without needs on both sides of the ball. The left tackle spot is a question mark. The wide receivers outside of Michael Pittman Jr. aren’t especially imposing. Even with Stephon Gilmore now in town, the cornerback room could use some help.”
It’s possible that Ryan will not be playing anywhere in the NFL by 2024.
With that in mind, the Colts sacrificing a first-round pick next year for the opportunity to land a more impactful player for this season makes sense.
Needs Indianapolis Could Satisfy With 2022 First-Round Pick
Whether Indianapolis actually trades up into the first round may depend on how the draft board unfolds. Davenport identified two players — a wide receiver and offensive tackle — that the Colts should consider worth trading up for on April 28.
“If the Colts have an opportunity to make a run at a player like Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave or Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning, landing them could be worth parting with yet another first-rounder.”
The draft scouts at ESPN, Bleacher Report and Pro Football Focus all have Olave ranked as one of the best four wide receivers in the 2022 draft class. The scouting department at Bleacher Report rated Olave the highest, ranking him second at receiver and No. 10 overall.
ESPN and Bleacher Report have also rated Penning a top five player at his position in the 2022 class. Both scouting departments ranked him one of the best 32 players available.
PFF ranked Penning a bit lower, placing him sixth among offensive tackles and No. 35 overall in the class.
Wide receiver and offensive tackle are Indianapolis’ biggest needs heading into draft week. In Davenport’s trade proposal, the Colts don’t give up their 2022 third-round pick. So, in the proposal, general manager Chris Ballard would still have the opportunity to draft a receiver and tackle in the first three rounds.
Whether the Colts have any interest in moving into the first round on April 28 remains to be seen. But it’s pretty clear that if they do acquire a pick on Day 1, it will likely be to draft a wide receiver or offensive tackle.