Indianapolis Colts 2022 NFL Draft Grades: Cleaning Up On Day Two

Alec Pierce, 2022 NFL Draft.Aac Championship Tulsa Golden Hurricane At Cincinnati Bearcats Football Dec 19
Alec Pierce, 2022 NFL Draft.Aac Championship Tulsa Golden Hurricane At Cincinnati Bearcats Football Dec 19 /
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Nick Cross, 2022 NFL Mock Draft
2022 NFL Mock Draft prospect Nick Cross #3 of the Maryland Terrapins (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

2022 NFL Draft Picks:

2:53 – Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati (A)

3:73 – Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia (B+)

3:77 – Bernhard Raimann, OL, Central Mich (A)

3:96 – Nick Cross, S, Maryland (A+)

5:159 – Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State (A-)

6:192 – Drew Ogletree,TE,Youngstown St. (C-)

6:216 – Curtis Brooks, DL, Cincinnati (B-)

7:239 – Rodney Thomas II, S, Yale (B)

Favorite Pick: Nick Cross

The Indianapolis Colts already had three players in tow before making an uncharacteristic trade up to secure safety Nick Cross out of Maryland. This was only the third instance of Chris Ballard trading up in the draft during his tenure in Indianapolis. You know what that means, he must LOVE Cross. And guess what? He is not the only one. I gave Cross a strong round two grade, which placed him No. 54 overall on my final Big Board.

He is as athletic as they come at the safety position, and plays even bigger than he is, giving reason to believe that he can be a terror in the box. The athleticism allows him to cover so much ground in so little time. He is still only 20 years old, so the best is yet to come for Cross. The Colts went out of their way to get him, and this bodes well for Cross because he will have every chance to claim a starting spot. The value is what sets this pick apart from the others for me.

Least Favorite Pick: Drew Ogletree

Drew Ogletree is a guy that simply did not land on my radar when working on the 2022 NFL Draft. As you can imagine, Youngstown State is not exactly the easiest school to get tape on. I wasn’t the only one though, as the vast majority of Big Boards I looked at in preparation for this article agreed with me.

Ogletree could have likely been added as an undrafted free agent, but the fact that the Indianapolis Colts used a sixth rounder on him gives reason to believe that they see something in him. His highlight reel is fun to watch, but there are so many able-bodied tight ends currently in Indy, he may have a hard time solidifying a spot on the 53-man roster.

Late Round Sleeper: Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is a prospect that I was late on, but immediately after seeing him wreak havoc on the backfield at the Shrine Bowl, I knew I liked this guy. He is extremely explosive for his size, and even though he’s a bit undersized for the interior, Johnson displays strength at the point of attack that more than makes up for it. At the Senior Bowl he regularly abused opposing offensive linemen, utilizing an effective rip through move and mixing in a jaw-dropping spin move from time-to-time.

With Grover Stewart approaching age 30, and only under contract for two more seasons, do not be surprised to see Johnson as the starter alongside DeForest Buckner in 2024. He can provide stable play as a rotational piece until then. I expect him to make impactful plays in the limited snaps that he gets. Johnson became the first ever defensive player drafted from Missouri State, and will bring that chip with him to the league.

Overall Draft Grade: A-