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Moore: 2022 Colts Mock Draft 1.0

With the NFL Draft just a few weeks away, the Colts have plenty of picks to help solve their remaining needs.

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching as we are only 17 days away from the Jacksonville Jaguars officially going on the clock.

This is the time of the offseason when the Indianapolis Colts tend to do their best work. Since Chris Ballard was hired as the general manager, the Colts have used the draft as their primary source to acquire players. All-Pros Jonathan Taylor, Quenton Nelson, and Darius Leonard are just some of the names the Colts have gotten through the draft.

The Colts come into this year’s draft with a variety of needs still to address. The trade for Matt Ryan allows the Colts to kick the long-term quarterback question down the road a few more years, but the team still needs to add more weapons for him to throw to. Depth across the roster needs to be addressed as well.

So, without further ado, here is my first 2022 Colts mock draft based on player fit and past tendencies from Ballard and the front office. You can get a more in-depth look at these prospects in the Indy Draft Guide at the link here or at the bottom of this mock draft.

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens (right) catches a 52 yard pass against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (left) during the first quarter of the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Round 2 Pick 42: WR George Pickens – Georgia

George Pickens would be a perfect fit for a Colts team that is in desperate need of weapons. At 6’3” and 195 pounds with a 77-inch wingspan, Pickens is a big-bodied wide receiver with an insane catch radius and can go up and get any ball. While his 4.47 40-yard dash does not demonstrate blazing speed, he plays much faster and ran away from the competition in the SEC.

After combining for 85 catches for 1,240 yards and 14 touchdowns in his freshman and sophomore years, Pickens tore his ACL in 2021 spring practice and missed most of his junior season. He did return towards the end of the Bulldogs’ national championship run but saw limited action. His performance at the NFL Combine and Georgia’s pro day saw him healthy and back to form.

The Colts have yet to address the wide receiver position this offseason. While WR1 Michael Pittman Jr. had a breakout season, Zach Pascal signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency, and T.Y. Hilton remains a free agent. Pickens would be a great compliment to Pittman on the opposite side, giving the Colts two legitimate threats at wide receiver. If Pickens is available at 42, the Colts should turn in the card immediately.

Nov 26, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Abraham Lucas (72) reacts to a snap against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3 Pick 73: OT Abraham Lucas – Washington State

Abraham Lucas is a big offensive tackle that could potentially be the Colts’ long-term solution on the left side. At 6’6” and 315 pounds with 34-inch arms, he possesses the size and length traits that the Colts look for at the tackle position. He also has plenty of experience, starting all 42 games he played at Washington State and never missing a game due to injury.

Lucas is an explosive athlete for his size and excels at pass blocking. He has the tools to stonewall pass rushers and can move to the second level with ease in the running game. While he wasn’t asked to run block much with the Cougars, he improved this aspect of his game each year in college. Lucas also participated in the Senior Bowl, an event where the Colts love to find talent.

The Colts have already said that Matt Pryor will get the first shot at left tackle to start the season after his performance in 2021. Lucas would have time to develop and compete with Pryor as the starter at left tackle. With his vast experience at right tackle as well, Lucas could serve as a swing tackle if he does not win the starting job.

Oct 3, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs wide receiver Danny Gray (5) catches a touchdown pass against the Memphis Tigers at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4 Pick 122: WR Danny Gray – SMU

The Colts decide to double-dip at wide receiver as they grab the speedster Danny Gray in the fourth round. While Gray is a little below the Colts’ size threshold for wide receivers at 6’0” and 186 pounds – he was up to 197 pounds at his pro day – his incredible speed sets him apart as he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. After starting at Blinn Community College, Gray finished his last two seasons at SMU, racking up 82 catches for 1,251 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Gray is a threat to take the top off the defense on every play. His speed and explosion would threaten NFL defenses and allow him to work in the slot as a rookie. While he is still a raw prospect, he could work on expanding his game while also having a role in the offense.

Gray would instantly make the Colts’ offense more dynamic. He participated in the Senior Bowl, and the Colts have had quite a bit of contact with him throughout the pre-draft process. Gray could be a potential trade-up candidate for the Colts if he makes it to day three.

Nov 13, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Jake Ferguson (84) scores a touchdown in front of Northwestern Wildcats safety Brandon Joseph (16) during the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Round 5 Pick 159: TE Jake Ferguson – Wisconsin

Ballard goes four offensive picks in a row to start this draft by drafting Jake Ferguson from his alma mater Wisconsin. At 6’4” and 244 pounds, Ferguson is the epitome of Jack Doyle 2.0. From the way he dominates defenders in the running game with solid blocks, to being the security blanket for his quarterbacks, to even the number Ferguson wore as a Badger, he looks like a clone of the former Pro Bowl tight end.

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Ferguson was a major contributor for all four of his seasons in Wisconsin, averaging 36 catches for 405 yards and three touchdowns a season. He is extremely reliable as a blocker in the running game, and while not very dynamic in the passing game, Ferguson can be a security blanket that will pick up nine yards on 3rd-and-8. He has hands that can be counted on and can pick up the tough yardage over the middle of the field.

With Doyle retiring this spring, the Colts need another tight end. Mo Alie-Cox was re-signed to a three-year deal this spring, and the Colts expect Kylen Granson to have a bigger role in the passing game. But Ferguson, another attendee of the Senior Bowl, fits exactly what the Colts want in their tight ends and would be a nice pick on day three.

Sep 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart (6) breaks up a pass intended for San Jose State Spartans wide receiver Jermaine Braddock (13) in the first half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Round 5 Pick 179: CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart – USC

The first defensive player for the Colts comes with their fifth pick in the long cornerback Isaac Taylor-Stuart. Taylor-Stuart has the size and length that the Colts covet in their corners at 6’2” and 201 pounds with 32-inch arms. He also ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and had a 36.5 inch vertical at his pro day.

The USC product uses his speed to stay with receivers, and his length helps him make plays on the ball. He is also a willing tackler in the running game and hardly misses tackles. His biggest asset early in his career may be his special teams ability, as Taylor-Stuart played on punt coverage all four years at USC as a gunner.

Taylor-Stuart has a long way to go in his development if he wants to be more than a depth piece. However, the Colts have a need at cornerback in terms of depth, and Ballard is always looking for guys that contribute on special teams with his day three picks. Taylor-Stuart would fit both.

Nov 20, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Esezi Otomewo (9) hits Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Grant Gremel (16) during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Gophers won 35-14. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Round 6 Pick 216: EDGE Esezi Otomewo – Minnesota

We can’t go a full draft without Ballard taking a defensive lineman. Esezi Otomewo is a local kid – growing up in Indianapolis and attending Ben Davis High School – who fits all of the traits the Colts look for in their defensive lineman. He stands 6’6” and 285 pounds with an 81.5-inch wingspan, putting him in a similar mold to Dayo Odeyingbo. Otomewo was also a team captain in his final year of college and attended the Senior Bowl.

Otomewo was a starter the last two years for the Golden Gophers, tallying 45 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, and four sacks. He does most of his damage in the run game, using his relentless motor to get through the line and chase down running backs. While not the greatest athlete, he does have position versatility and can play both inside and out.

Otomewo would be a project player along the defensive line that the Colts could use for depth purposes. Moving him along the line is a plus and the fact that he has special teams ability is something the Colts covet, as well.

NDSU offensive tackle Cordell Volson (67) celebrates a win against the Jacks after the Dakota Marker game on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, S.D. The final score of the game was 23-16.

Round 7 Pick 239: IOL Cordell Volson – North Dakota State

The Colts end the draft by getting some depth along the interior of the offensive line. Cordell Volson played tackle at North Dakota State but will most likely shift inside to guard in the NFL. He started his last 41 games for the Bison, was a two-time team captain, and played at the East-West Shrine Bowl, where the Colts had numerous offensive coaches, including offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, participating on the staff.

At 6’6” and 315 pounds with an 82.5-inch wingspan, Volson is a huge presence along the offensive line. He is a mauler in the running game and overpowers his opponents through the whistle. In pass protection, he is hard to get around because of his large frame and wraps up pass rushers at the point of attack.

While Volson is not the best athlete, he would be a nice addition to add depth to a group that needs it. He possesses the playing style, character, and size the Colts love with their linemen. Volson, along with Will Fries, would give the Colts two solid backup options along the interior of the offensive line.

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