After a slow start to the offseason, Chris Ballard has been a busy man the last few weeks. The next phase of the offseason is what he butters his bread with, the 2022 NFL Draft. Here is the final 7-round mock draft for the Indianapolis Colts.
Chris Ballard caused a bit of a stir in the Colts’ fan base over the course of the first week of free agency. He has never been the type to go out and spend big money on outside players, oftentimes choosing to sit it out and let other teams overpay. This has led to the incredibly strong roster that the Colts currently possess. Unfortunately, the patient approach is not the easiest one to follow for fans, especially when the amount of available cap space is brought up in every tweet leading up to free agency.
While it is true that the Indianapolis Colts are frugal with their spending, that should not be confused with being “cheap”. Ballard has shown a willingness to make some big moves, and that can be argued as the reason why the franchise was handcuffed entering this offseason. He traded a first- and third- round pick for Carson Wentz, and even though he recouped most of the value, it negatively impacted the Colts ability to land a quarterback. Thankfully, he found an adequate replacement in former MVP Matt Ryan, at the cost of just one third-round pick.
When you include those moves with the aggressive trades for the likes of Yannick Ngakoue and DeForest Buckner, it’s easy to see that Ballard is more willing to make moves than given credit for. Unfortunately, the Colts have never been a premier free agent destination. It’s a forgotten side of negotiations. This is the real world and it’s not Madden, players have to WANT to come to Indianapolis, something that rarely happened even with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. To the surprise of many, former Defensive Player of the Year — Stephon Gilmore — signed on with the Colts after Jim Irsay pulled out all the stops and sent the private jet after him, giving the team a talent at cornerback that they have rarely ever had.
Ballard signed a big fish this offseason, but he typically makes up for the lack of interest from free agents by nailing the draft process. He consistently finds starting-caliber players well into the middle and later stages of the draft. He hasn’t had a first-round pick at his disposal for the majority of his time at the helm, so this should not dissuade fans from having optimism towards the upcoming draft. With picks No.42 and No.73 on day two, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Indianapolis Colts move around a little bit, with a trade back being the most likely but don’t rule out a move up the board either.
Indianapolis Colts Mock Draft: Offensive Line, Wide Receiver Focus
On day three, the team presently sits with five more selections, spread across rounds four through seven. I expect the trend to continue, with instant contributors being added to the roster via the 2022 NFL Draft. Let’s see what I can cook up in the final Colts mock draft before the event kicks off on April 28th!