The end of the 2021 season was an absolute debacle for the COLTS , especially the play of their QB CARSON WENTZ in the last two games. Exit Mr. Wentz after the season, at the specific request of Owner Jim Irsay. Then several weeks ago enter MATT RYAN, seasoned vet from the FALCONS, who are in full rebuild mode. It looks like a natural fit for a guy who clearly looks to have more gas in the tank in his late 30’s. But the team is also minus almost a dozen vets, most of whom played on 1-year contracts last season. Those roster deletions have left some serious holes to fill and fortunately GM CHRIS BALLARD has some dollars left under the Cap, and 7 Draft Picks to fill holes, like the signing of VFA STEPHON GILMORE/CB this past week.
Yours truly, is always happy to help Mr. Ballard in his use of those Draft Picks. So let’s get on with it.
Pick 42 JELANI WOODS TE Virginia 6’7/259 Another late blooming player who escaped Oklahoma St, where he almost exclusively blocked for the run game, to a prominent receiving role for the Cavaliers. After receptions for 361 yards in 3 seasons as a Cowboy, he caught 44 balls for 598 yards & 8 TD’s in 2021. He was amongst a handful of players who pulled a perfect RAS score of 10. His workouts at the Combine confirmed the athleticism we all saw last season including a 4.61/40 at over 250 lbs. He had a 37.5″ Vertical and 24 Bench press reps with 34 1/2″ arms. He looks like a terrific red zone target with his 82″ Wing Span. He should more than adequately replace the retired JACK DOYLE.
PICK 73 COLE STRANGE OG/C Chattanooga 6’4/305 The COLTS current roster is thin along their OL unit. STRANGE played OG & OC during Senior Bowl week, and even without the baby bump belly, he was this year’s Quinn Meinerz-sensation in Mobile. STRANGE recorded an outstanding RAS of 9.95 for his pure athleticism. He just missed breaking the 5-second 40-mark at the Combine with a 5.03. With 33″ long arms, he bench pressed 31 reps in Indy. The COLTS would do well to bring this standout back to Indy to play for the Colts.
Pick 122 DANNY GRAY WR SMU 6’/186 With T.Y. HILTON being a VFA, who they would like to re-sign, but also being in his 30’s, their receiving corps lacks elite speed and quickness. GRAY ran a 4.33/40 at the Combine. He also emerged to carry the weight of the Mustangs receiving corps on his shoulders as Reggie Roberson recovered from a leg injury. GRAY had 44 catches for 803 yards and 9 TD’s in 2021. What he would give to the Colts is a decent sized speedster to take the top off of a secondary. His 9 5/8″ hand size is attractive for his “hands” catching.
Pick 159 DAMEON PIERCE RB Florida 5’9/220 Bullish between the tackles runner, with lots of tread left on the tires.
Pick 179 RYAN VAN DEMARK OT UConn 6’7/307. Could turn out to be a pro caliber player in a poor program. Better pro than collegian.
Pick 216 D’MARCO JACKSON LB Appalachian St 6’/235 Athletic ball-hawk who also could stand out on Special Teams.
Pick 239 JOHN RIDGEWAY DT Arkansas 6’5/321 Big body to give some added depth to the Interior DL.
I like the looks of these selections. I would point specifically to PIERCE & JACKSON also looking like solid additions in multiple Special Teams roles.