It's no secret the Indianapolis Colts have major needs at left tackle and pass rusher following a typically quiet free agency period.
Knowing that, one would think Chris Ballard and the Colts would be in an ideal position to grab a standout pass rusher or left tackle at No. 21 overall, and then double back at No. 54 overall to plug whichever hole remains.
That wasn't the case for Pro Football Focus analyst Austin Gayle, who has the Colts going in a different direction in his latest two-round mock draft.
At No. 21 overall, Gayle has the Colts grabbing standout Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, and then has the Colts grabbing Oregon safety Jevon Holland at No. 54, addressing a playmaker need on both sides of the football.
Though Gayle did not provide an explanation as to why he paired the Colts with Holland in the second round, Indianapolis did lose former first round safety Malik Hooker in free agency, and could use a ballhawk on the back end.
However, Gayle did provide some thoughts on the Bateman add.
"Bateman isn't a freak athlete with high-end top speed, but he's still one of the best pure separators in this class because of his ability to get off the line of scrimmage and win with efficient route-running. The former Minnesota standout led the country in yards per route from an outside alignment as a sophomore in 2019."
While the Colts did just bring back T.Y. Hilton in free agency, it's a one-year deal, so there's no telling what's to come in 2022. Zach Pascal was tendered a contract, and second-year pro Michael Pittman appears poised for a real breakout. With the health and durability of Parris Campbell still a relative unknown, it wouldn't hurt the Colts to aim high here and grab a receiver many thing is in the top 3 discussion in this class.
Giving Carson Wentz as many weapons as possible should bode well for the Colts' future with the former No. 2 overall pick running the show from under center.
Do you have thoughts on PFF's two-round mock draft selections for the Colts? Drop a note in the comments section below!