2022 NFL Draft: Why Don’t the Indianapolis Colts Have a 1st-Round Pick?

The Indianapolis Colts have significantly improved their roster this offseason. They traded for quarterback Matt Ryan and signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Indy also acquired pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue in a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Now, the team has a chance to add even more talent in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Indianapolis doesn’t have a pick until the second round.

So, why is that?

Here’s a look at what happened to the Colts’ first-round selection.

Why don’t the Colts have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft?

The Indianapolis Colts logo during the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Indianapolis Colts logo during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26, 2018. | Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If all things were normal and just based on their 2021 record, the Colts would be picking at No. 16 in the 2022 NFL Draft due to their mediocre 9-8 campaign last year.

However, during the 2021 offseason, Indy acquired Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional second-round selection. The conditions of that second-rounder were that it would turn into a first-round pick if Wentz — who the Colts traded to the Washington Commanders after just one season — played 75% of the team’s 2021 snaps.

He did just that, appearing in all 17 games for Indy. So, Philly acquired the 2022 first-rounder.

The Eagles don’t actually have it anymore, though. They sent the selection to the New Orleans Saints in a massive pick-swap deal, and they moved back to the 18th pick in the draft.

But what about the Colts? What other picks do they have since they won’t find themselves on the clock in the first round?

Indianapolis has the No. 42 overall pick in the second round. It also has a third- and fourth-round selection, two fifth-rounders, and one pick apiece in the sixth and seventh rounds.

The Colts have found great players in the first round

Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning during the 1998 NFL Draft.
Quarterback Peyton Manning (center) stands with NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (right) and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay (left) during the 1998 NFL Draft. | Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport

Indy’s absence in the first round could result in it missing out on some stars. The franchise has found some iconic players in the draft’s opening round over the years.

Here’s a look at some of the former and current stars the team has chosen, going back to its Baltimore days.

  • 1956: Lenny Moore, HB (Hall of Famer)
  • 1957: Jim Parker, OL (Hall of Famer)
  • 1963: Bob Vogel, OL (five-time Pro Bowler)
  • 1994: Marshall Faulk, RB (Hall of Famer)
  • 1996: Marvin Harrison, WR (Hall of Famer)
  • 1998: Peyton Manning, QB (Hall of Famer)
  • 1999: Edgerrin James, RB (Hall of Famer)
  • 2001: Reggie Wayne, WR (six-time Pro Bowler)
  • 2002: Dwight Freeney, DE (seven-time Pro Bowler)
  • 2012: Andrew Luck, QB (four-time Pro Bowler)
  • 2016: Ryan Kelly, OL (three-time Pro Bowler)
  • 2018: Quenton Nelson, OL (four-time Pro Bowler)

That’s some incredible talent, but the franchise has also hit on some stars in later rounds. Darius Leonard and Jonathan Taylor were second-round selections, and T.Y. Hilton was a third-round pick.

Perhaps the Colts will find some more diamonds in the rough during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Draft history courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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