With the Colts season coming to end earlier than expected after a soul-crushing loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s officially time to enter into offseason mode and focus on how Indianapolis can bolster its roster in order to compete again for a playoff spot in 2022.
It is not a secret that the Colts overall have a solid roster and they are pretty much a consistent quarterback away from being a contender, but as Indianapolis will not have a first-round pick in the upcoming Draft and the 2022 quarterback Draft class is overall below-average, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Colts stick with Wentz for another season before trying to grab their quarterback of the future in 2023.
I put together this Mock Draft assuming that Wentz will remain the starting quarterback, so my number one priority was to put around him as many offensive weapons as possible in order to try to make things easier for him.
The Colts will also have a solid amount of money to spend in free agency as they are expected to be 8th in the NFL cap space-wise for the 2022 free agency. So there will be multiple ways to try to improve as much as possible the roster before the start of the 2022 season. For this 7-round Mock Draft, I utilized the simulator over at NFL Mock Draft Database.
Round 2, Pick 42: Wan’Dale Robinson, wide receiver, Kentucky
The Colts need a reliable wide receiver option to put alongside Michael Pittman Jr. who enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign. With T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal also set to become free agents, adding targets in the passing game should the Colts' biggest priority heading into the offseason.
Kentucky pass-catcher Wan’Dale Robinson, who’s 5’10”, 185 lbs, perfectly fits what Indianapolis needs at the position. Robinson is a dynamic wide receiver who’s a master at producing yards after the catch. He can play both as a Z receiver or aligned in the slot, has elite contact balance, and does a tremendous job at breaking tackles and generating big plays. He’s a threat at all three levels of the field who can also be utilized out of the backfield. He’s lightning-quick and emerged as a dangerous weapon on short and intermediate routes, as well as a deep threat throughout his college career. He can quickly become a reliable playmaker and a trusted target in the passing game.
Round 3, Pick 82: Skyy Moore, wide receiver, Western Michigan
Bringing in a wide receiver will not be enough for the Colts to try to shadow Wentz’s weaknesses and help him find rhythm in the passing game. By drafting Michael Pittman Jr, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell, Ashton Dulin, Dezmon Patmon, and Mike Strachan, Indianapolis has invested a lot in big-bodied receivers, but by bringing in Wan’Dale Robinson and Skyy Moore, they would add much-needed yards after the catch and ability to stretch the field.
Moore, who’s 5’9”, 195 lbs, is a technically advanced pass-catcher who displays impressive athleticism and speed. He’s a great route runner who’s also a lethal deep threat. With Michael Pittman Jr. as the physical X receiver and go-to guy, Skyy Moore as the lightning-quick Z receiver, and Wan’Dale Robinson as the do-it-all playmaker, the Colts would finally have a reliable and various receiving corp.
Round 4, Pick 119: Cade Otton, tight end, Washington
Mo Alie-Cox is set to become a free agent and Jack Doyle’s best days as a receiving threat are now past him. Indianapolis added rookie Kyle Granson in the fourth round of last year’s Draft and he slowly improved as the season went on. Cade Otton though has the tools to be an immediate impact player as a 6’5”, 250 lbs tight end.
Otton is a reliable blocker who’s a dangerous weapon as a receiver. He can be aligned as a traditional tight end or moved around the formation, has impressive natural hands and he’s extremely reliable in traffic while bringing to the table underrated yards after the catch ability. Otton could also immediately turn into a trusted red-zone target. As the Colts need to add playmakers on offense, even though starting the Draft by selecting three pass-catchers could be seen as bold, it’s also a path that could quickly solve the team’s issues on offense.
Round 5, Pick 157: Dare Rosenthal, offensive tackle, Kentucky
Both Eric Fisher and Matt Pryor are set to become free agents, so adding a left tackle is an absolute need for the Colts during the offseason. Dare Rosenthal has experience playing as a left tackle at the college level and he has very interesting athletic traits. He’s explosive at the snap, has quick feet and he’s a solid pass protector. As a run blocker, his athleticism is on full display when he reaches the second level, but he still has to work on his down-to-down consistency. It is possible that the Colts will manage to add a veteran at the left tackle position during free agency, but adding a high-upside young player behind him could be a brilliant idea.
Round 5, Pick 178: Sterling Weatherford, safety, Miami (Ohio)
George Odum and Andrew Sendejo are another couple of Colts players set to become free agents and as the young and promising Julian Blackmon gets back from the injury that sidelined him for a big portion of the 2021 season, adding a young strong safety to pair with Blackmon could pay dividends going forward. Sterling Weatherford is a do-it-all safety who does his best on run support, as his physicality jumps out of the tape, but he’s also athletic and solid enough in coverage to play as a single-high. At Miami, he was also utilized to cover the slot. While he isn’t a rangy safety with top-tier athleticism, Weatherford is a hard-hitting and versatile option who has the potential to become a reliable starter in the NFL.
Round 6, Pick 215: LaBryan Ray, interior defensive lineman, Alabama
The Colts currently have Grover Stewart alongside DeForest Buckner and Taylor Stallworth will soon be a free agent. Investing in the trenches is always a good idea and a high-upside prospect like LaBryan Ray is exactly what the Colts could need at the position. Ray is a former 5-star recruit who hasn’t been able to play consistently at Alabama because of injuries. He better fits as a 1-technique but he can also play as a nose tackle. While he needs to improve technically with the use of his hands, he possesses impressive strength and has the upside to be dominant against the run.
Round 7, Pick 235: Tyree Johnson, EDGE, Texas A&M
Indianapolis spent two important picks in 2021 on EDGE rushers, as the Colts front office went all-in on the position by selecting Kwity Paye and Dayo Odenyigbo, but as he fell to round seven, Texas A&M defensive end Tyree Johnson was too good to pass by. Johnson is still raw with the use of his hands, but he has great athletic traits which also make him reliable when dropping in coverage. He would be another project player at the position, but he has the tools to turn into a potential impact player. If the Colts will not give a new contract to Al-Quadin Muhammad, who will soon become a free agent, adding an impact EDGE rusher will become a top priority, while if they manage to keep him, swinging for the fences for a high-upside player like Johnson late in the Draft could be the right move.
Round 7, Pick 236: Jesse Luketa, linebacker, Penn State
Jesse Luketa is a versatile defensive player who can improve his stock in a major way during this Draft process. He has played as a defensive end and both as a MIKE and SAM linebacker. sometimes not having a specific position entering the Draft can hurt the stock of the prospect, but Luketa will probably find better success at the NFL level as an off-ball linebacker. He’s still inconsistent from a down-to-down point of view and needs to improve in coverage, but he’s a solid tackler who also possesses good athleticism. Both Zaire Franklin and Matthew Adams are set to become free agents, so a player like Luketa could gradually find more playing time as he develops.