According to ESPN’s Louis Riddick, the Indianapolis Colts have not only won the 2022 NFL Draft, but they’re one of the big winners all offseason—with a combination of shrewd veteran acquisitions such as Matt Ryan, Yannick Ngakoue, and Stephon Gilmore, paired with a highly athletic draft class to further complement their ascending roster:
“I think Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts killed it,” Riddick said following the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday. “They killed it all offseason with veteran acquisitions like Matt Ryan and Yannick Ngakoue. And then on ‘Day 2’, they went crazy as far as I’m concerned.”
“They got players that I just love. Alec Pierce in the second round, I think is going to be a steal for them. Jelani Woods is a monster at tight end, and he is going to be a (receiving) threat. They got their franchise left tackle in Bernhard Raimann out of Central Michigan. And then Nick Cross at safety, a guy, Todd (McShay), I know you like. I know you like him because he’s a fantastic athlete, and he can make plays on the ball.”
“And then they get depth with (Andrew) Ogletree, (Curtis) Brooks, (Rodney) Thomas, but they have just put on a clinic as far as ‘Team Building 101’. Starting with the veteran free agency market, culminating [Saturday] in the NFL Draft. I think look out for the Colts in the AFC South.”
In general, I do not largely care about what ESPN’s ‘talking heads’ think—as a lot of it is purely shock and and entertainment value. That being said, when the 53 year old Riddick, who’s highly regarded for his football acumen and has been interviewed for NFL general manager openings in the recent past, says something, you sure as heck better give it credence.
The Colts have done a number this offseason of revamping a roster last season that lacked leadership, consistency, offensive explosiveness, and a strong pass defense/pass rush.
With Ballard’s savvy veteran additions, the Colts have remedied some of those deficiencies already, but this draft weekend’s uber-athletic rookie haul was hopefully another positive step in the right direction for a franchise that is looking to reclaim AFC South supremacy again first and foremost—with an eye towards a deep AFC playoff run.