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Colts Select Tulsa OL Tyler Smith, South Alabama WR Jalen Tolbert in Kiper Jr. & McShay’s NFL Mock Draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 24 ULM at South Alabama Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, the Indianapolis Colts will select Tulsa OT/OG Tyler Smith and South Alabama wide receiver Jalen Tolbert in their alternating three round 2022 NFL Mock Draft:

42. Indianapolis Colts (via WSH)

Kiper’s pick: Tyler Smith, OT/G, Tulsa

For the Colts’ first pick, I see them going best offensive lineman on the board. They have a hole at right guard and left tackle. Smith could fill either of those voids. He was almost too aggressive at times last season (12 penalties), but he is physical at the point of attack.

73. Indianapolis Colts (via WSH)

McShay’s pick: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

The Colts have to get themselves a receiver before Friday night is over, even though 13 are already off the board. Matt Ryan, meet Tolbert, who is a smooth route runner with good speed.

Regarding Smith, the 6’5”, 324 pound offensive lineman (with 34” arms) is an explosive athlete with good mobility/lateral quickness, impressive strength and bend, but who is still a bit raw as a technician and will need to further refine his hand placement. Oftentimes, he is a nasty blocker in the trenches, who will play through the whistle with a real mean streak.

He earned All-AAC honors in 2021.

Here’s what they’re saying on Smith:

The Colts would obviously select Smith to hopefully become their left tackle of the future, as he may not be quite a ‘Day 1’ starter from the get-go. However, the team does have re-signed swing-tackle Matt Pryor to serve as a bridge in the mean time—or extra insurance.

He would fit in real nicely with the Colts in their zone blocking scheme, providing another mauler next to 4x NFL All-Pro Quenton Nelson along the starting left side of the o-line—helping to pave rushing lanes for Jonathan Taylor. In pass protection, while still developing, he shows the athleticism and lateral quickness to be a premier blindside bookend in time.

Meanwhile, Jalen Tolbert is a 6’1”, 194 pound wideout (with 32 1/4” arms) who caught 82 receptions for 1,474 receiving yards (18.0 ypr. avg.) and 8 touchdown receptions during 12 starts in 2021—earning Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Sun Belt honors (the latter for a consecutive season).

Tolbert posted a 4.49 forty time and 36 inch vertical jump at the recent NFL Combine.

Tolbert is regarded as a high character prospect who is a smooth route runner, looks fluid changing speeds, and is pretty fast with good hands. He has the ability to play through contact, track the football downfield, and also can provide a reliable deep threat with the ability to stack defensive backs and get over the top of them.

Here’s the lowdown on Tolbert:

Tolbert may not be George Pickens or Christian Watson that Colts fans are clamoring for, but at this point of the draft, he would be a solid selection—as he was highly productive for the Jaguars and battle-tested against SEC competition (as he had 7 receptions for 143 receiving yards and a touchdown reception against Tennessee in November of 2021).

He could provide a nice starting WR2 on the other side of Michael Pittman Jr., with the ability to work against all three levels of an opposing secondary—and still become the reliable deep threat that the Colts desperately need in their receiving corps. He would also help veteran quarterback Matt Ryan’s new Colts’ cause by providing another big play weapon to work with in the passing game.

Colts fans may blow a gasket here, believing that wide receiver or tight end should come before an offensive tackle. That being said, both of these prospects have a lot of qualities that could pique the interest of the Colts—and it makes some sense why Kiper and McShay went with the pair in their latest projections for Indianapolis (although yes, count me in the Pickens’ camp as well, who went #57 to the Buffalo Bills here).