2022 NFL Draft: Grades for Alec Pierce and Every Other Indianapolis Colts Pick

At long last, after 32 picks came and went during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and a few marquee prospects flew off the board to kick off Friday’s portion of the event, the Indianapolis Colts finally got to address one of their needs. 

Quarterback wasn’t one entering the draft thanks to the offseason arrival of legendary Atlanta Falcons signal-caller Matt Ryan, and the rest of the roster is in pretty good shape even though a final-week disaster against the Jacksonville Jaguars kept it out of the postseason. 

Nevertheless, giving Ryan and standout running back Jonathan Taylor more weapons, namely ones who can support Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell in the passing game, could go a long way. Filling in the defensive cracks was also a priority, ideally by adding to a lackluster pass rush and building more depth at cornerback and in the linebacking corps.

2022 NFL Draft picks by Indianapolis Colts

  • No. 53 Overall: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
  • No. 73 Overall: Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
  • No. 77 Overall: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
  • No. 96 Overall: Nick Cross, S, Maryland
  • No. 159 Overall: Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State
  • No. 192 Overall: Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State
  • No. 216 Overall: Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati
  • No. 239 Overall: Rodney Thomas, DB, Yale

No. 53 Overall: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

Alec Pierce of the Indianapolis Colts
Wide receiver Alec Pierce of the Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts needed a wide receiver desperately, and without a first-rounder (and after trading back in Round 2), they got a good one. Cincinnati wideout Alec Pierce is a 6-foot-3, 211-pound pass-catcher who ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine. He’ll be a possession guy in the NFL but has sneaky speed. Pierce is a great partner for Michael Pittman Jr. and will be a quality weapon for Matt Ryan and whoever’s next under center.

Grade: A

No. 73 Overall: Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia

This is a boom or bust pick, but in the third round, the Colts should take a shot like this. Woods is a former quarterback and is 6-foot-7, 259-pounds. He’s got great athleticism for such a big guy and can block and catch equally well. Woods is a bit of a project, but if he develops, he could be a singular TE weapon in the future.

Grade: A

No. 77 Overall: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

The Colts continue to crush the 2022 NFL draft in the middle rounds. Bernhard Raimann is a 6-foot-6, 303-pound tackle who has the athleticism to plat TE at the start of his college career. He’s still raw, growing up playing American football in Austria before coming to the U.S. to play in high school. Raimann was mocked in the first round in some places so this is a great pick in Round 3.

Grade: A

No. 96 Overall: Nick Cross, S, Maryland

With a 4.3-second 40-yard dash, good size at 6-foot-0, 212 pounds, and fluid athleticism, Nick Cross could be a steal for the Colts at the back end of the third round. He’s a late-bloomer who came to football deep into his athletic career, and his physical profile hints at more upside if he can read quarterbacks’ eyes more efficiently and better anticipate delayed handoffs.

Grade: B+

Day 3 Picks

No. 159 Overall: Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State

Johnson is a five-year player at FCS Missouris State who improved his draft stock at the Senior Bowl. He’s a long-term project who has the technique and mentality to become a solid rotational player down the line.

Grade: C+

No. 192 Overall: Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State

Ogletree is an incredible athlete who isn’t very good at playing tight end. He was projected as an undrafted free agent so spending a sixth-round pick on him for a team that doesn’t have many picks doesn’t make sense.

Grade: D

No. 216 Overall: Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati

Brooks is an NFL tweener at 6-foot-2, 287-pounds, but he may be able to develop into an interior pass-rush specialist.

Grade: C

No. 239 Overall: Rodney Thomas, DB, Yale

Thomas is an Ivy League player with NFL size at 6-foot-1, 201-pounds, but didn’t produce impressive production in the lower-level league.

Grade: C

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