The 2022 NFL Draft is nearly upon us and with it, the hope of new and improved rosters for NFL teams in need of upgrades. The draft affords the ability to delude ourselves into temporarily forgetting how many prospects fail each year and simply relish in the influx of talent.
With no first-round pick this year, the Colts will likely not see any action tonight. However, in a draft that has plenty of talent, there will be lots of options to choose from when they are on the clock at pick 42 tomorrow. The real question then, is what direction will the Colts go with that 42nd overall pick?
In his 5 drafts as the Colts' general manager, Chris Ballard has made a whopping 11 second-round selections. Of those picks, 4 have been defensive ends. The Colts have acted in such a way this offseason as to mitigate some of their major needs so that they can select the best player on the board rather than being hamstrung by need. Given his proclivity toward the trenches, it would not surprise me at all to see Ballard add to his defensive line at pick 42 if he likes the guys that are there.
It would be safe to say that this would be a surprise for Colts fans, and not likely a welcome one. Overwhelmingly, Colts fans feel that the team’s first pick ought to address a relatively talent-poor receiving corps.
As much as Ballard continues to tell us that he believes the team is better at receiver than fans give it credit for, it seems likely that there will be upgrades to the position, and given the depth of talent in this draft, it seems nearly certain to be addressed.
Right behind receiver on the minds of Colts fans is the offensive line. They struggled to play through myriad injuries in 2021 and do not have a clear answer at the left tackle position. Additionally, the team let Chris Reed and Mark Glowinski walk in the offseason, meaning their depth on the interior is worse than it has been in a while. Whether this means they’ll address the line early remains to be seen, but it would hardly be a surprise if Ballard did what he most likes to do, and added to the trenches.
What Colts fans should be hoping for is that Ballard and company manage to strike a good balance between their team needs and the best player on their board. If you take a player you believe in at a position of lesser need, you come out far better in the long term than taking one you have less confidence in to fill a hole.
The Colts are far from a complete team, and they’ll need to draft well and get production out of their young players to keep moving forward, but they’ve taken steps to allow themselves to pursue the best players without being too constrained by need. Now it just remains for them to do what they’ve done so well in the past, hit on their selections.
What position would be your choice for the pick at 42, and who is your ideal pick?