Following the trade of quarterback Carson Wentz, any 2022 NFL Mock Draft for the Indianapolis Colts between now and April’s NFL Draft will focus on finding the future face of the franchise. However, the Colts have multiple areas of need to address this spring. Can this Colts 2022 7-Round NFL Mock Draft meet them all?
Indianapolis Colts 7-Round 2022 Mock Draft
For the purposes of this Colts 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we’ve used the free PFN Mock Draft Simulator with trades (equipped with the latest NFL Draft order). However, the selections have been hand-chosen. They’re based on the projected needs for the Colts in the 2022 NFL Draft, where they currently have eight picks. Let’s break down how this haul improves Indianapolis’ future fortunes.
Round 2, Pick 42: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Since the trade of Wentz, it has always seemed a likely offseason scenario is that the Colts add a veteran and pair him with a rookie. With the trade for Matt Ryan, one-half of that scenario has proved correct. Ryan should give in and drive the offense in the same way that Philip Rivers did. However, it’s not a long-term move for the franchise.
In this Colts 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the rookie element to the above scenario is Desmond Ridder. The Cincinnati QB has showcased an exceptional arm and playmaking mobility during his Bearcats career. More importantly, he possesses the leadership qualities that his predecessor — if rumors are to be believed — sadly did not. A year of development behind Ryan will be exactly what Ridder needs to coach out some of the accuracy issues that have blighted his ascension in this NFL Draft QB conversation.
Round 3, Pick 73: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
The Colts have a whole host of offensive line talent set to hit free agency, including left tackle Eric Fisher. While the former Super Bowl champion made a remarkable return from serious injury last season, the 31-year-old hardly resembles a long-term option protecting the blindside of new quarterback Ryan.
Having earned first-round consideration early in the 2022 NFL Draft cycle, there’s a chance that Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere doesn’t make it down to the early part of the third round. If he does, as he did in this Colts 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft, Chris Ballard should run the card up to the podium. An athletic and smooth pass protector, NPF has showcased ability in the run game. That will be essential for success in Indianapolis.
Round 4, Pick 121: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
Although Khari Willis and Julian Blackmon form a solid safety duo, I’d expect to see the Colts add additional safety depth in the 2022 NFL Draft. Both Andrew Sendejo and George Odom are potential free agents. While safety is not a position of need over wide receiver, the way the board falls in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft means the Colts are in a position to add an impact defender for excellent value.
An ascending prospect in the class, Kerby Joseph gives the Colts an aggressive playmaker with positional versatility. During his Illinois career, he’s covered the deep third while also seeing exposure in the slot. Joseph showcases impressive range and an eye for the ball. Furthermore, he’s impactful coming downhill against the run. When you face Derrick Henry twice a year, that’s particularly important.
Round 5, Pick 159: Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA
In a deep wide receiver class, the Colts can afford to wait until later in the draft to add a couple of impressive pass catchers. Kyle Philips gives them a starting slot wide receiver who wins with competitive toughness, quick feet, and impressive route running. Additionally, his experience as a blocker will benefit an offense consisting of Jonathan Taylor and new QB1 Ryan.
Round 5, Pick 178: Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest
While Indianapolis has reportedly made the re-signing of versatile offensive lineman Matt Pryor a priority, there is still room to add further depth to the line (as mentioned earlier in this Colts 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft). There are few more versatile prospects in this class than Zach Tom. The athletic lineman played left tackle for Wake Forest for two seasons. However, he is a center by trade. Although backup will be his immediate role, he has starter potential.
Round 6, Pick 217: Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech
A former high school quarterback, Jermaine Waller is a versatile and intelligent cornerback prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s seen time both in the slot and outside. Furthermore, he’s experienced in both man and zone schemes. While a slow 40-yard dash time is indicative of his long-speed issues, Waller showcases short-area athleticism. The Virginia Tech CB would be an impressive addition to the defensive back room for the Colts.
Round 7, Pick 237: Zach VanValkenburg, EDGE, Iowa
As one of their most significant needs, the Colts double down at defensive end in this 7-Round NFL Mock Draft. Despite coming from an Iowa program with a recent history of providing excellent pass rushers, Zach VanValkenburg is an underrated prospect in this class. A high-motor player who displays some polished technical refinement as a pass rusher, he also possesses excellent ability against the run.
Round 7, Pick 238: Tanner Conner, WR, Idaho State
Idaho State wide receiver Tanner Conner has all the standout qualities of a late-round selection that can make an impact in the NFL. He has special-teams experience, both as a gunner on punt and attacker on kickoff returns. Meanwhile, he’s an athletic standout as a former track star. Furthermore, at 6’3″, he has the size and ability to win contested-catch matchups. Bolstering the wide receiver with a player of Conner’s caliber would be a great move by the Colts.