Check out the full recap of mock drafts involving the Colts from mid-January through late April here. Below are the players experts mocked the most frequently to the Colts in the second and third rounds.
Note 1: The majority of the mocks that had the Colts drafting a quarterback in the second round came before the team traded for Matt Ryan.
Note 2: Because the Colts don't have a pick until No. 42, this year's mocks all over the place. For instance: Two players (Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce and Kentucky WR Wan'Dale Robinson) were mocked to the Colts at least once in the second, third and fourth rounds. Nevada QB Carson Strong was mocked to the Colts in the second round (five times) almost as much as the third round (four times). And Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III was tied for the most-mocked player to the Colts in the third round...yet also was mocked to the Colts in the second round once.
So consider this list hardly predictive, and mostly a way to get acquainted with some of the guys you'll see the experts on NFL Network/ESPN debate when the Colts go on the clock Friday:
Anyways, on to the list:
Second round, No. 42 overall
Central Michigan T Bernhard Raimann: 12 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "With alluring athleticism and an impressive skill set, Raimann is just scratching the surface of his potential. His initial transition from tight end to left tackle occurred in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making his rapid transformation fairly remarkable. He is a much better technician than he should be at this stage, but his approach is also mechanical and he could struggle against sophisticated edge defenders until he learns to diversify his pass sets and hand usage. Raimann's instincts and fundamentals at the position are still in a developmental phase so bumps in the road are expected, but his best football is ahead of him and he should become a long-time starter at left tackle."
Nevada QB Carson Strong: 5 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Touch-or-torch" pocket passer with rare blend of power and finesse to turn low percentage throws into completions. His surgically repaired right knee might hinder the sturdiness of his throwing base, but Strong still throws with velocity, accuracy and touch either on or off-platform. He has the talent to attack any coverage and all areas of the field. Nonchalant eye discipline and a gunslinger mentality means he's likely to see additional air traffic and turnovers as he transitions from Nevada's Air Raid offense. Scouts rave about his leadership and "killer instinct." He clearly has first-round talent, but long-term durability concerns surrounding his knee could force teams to take a more cautious approach with his projection and draft slotting.
North Carolina QB Sam Howell: 4 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Stocky, three-year starter who plays with admirable confidence despite inconsistencies in important areas as a passer. Howell attacks the field working from deep to short when he's allowed. He's not a classic full-field reader at this point but has pocket poise and mobility to potentially develop in that area in the future. He muscles throws, hindering his accuracy on drive throws but has adequate arm strength and can expedite off-platform throws. Howell doesn't throw with nearly enough timing or ball placement, which forces wideouts into the boundaries or to break stride, limiting their YAC potential. He flashed impressive dual-threat talent in 2021, which should work in his favor. The 2021 tape was bumpy but his makeup is really good and improvement is likely with better pieces around him. Howell isn't wired for or suited to a ball-control passing attack and might need a vertical passing scheme capable of creating explosive plays in order to succeed."
Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore: 3 mocks
NFL.com analysis: Productive three-year starter with decent athleticism and good ball skills but just average separation potential. Moore is courageous working into the teeth of the defense and tenacious to come up with contested catches from anywhere on the field. He's a one-note route-runner lacking acceleration out of break points but showed off impressive vertical speed at the NFL Scouting Combine. His ball skills and toughness create opportunities as a reliable target and capable route-runner from release to whistle. His best fit is from the slot, but long-term success will depend on his ability to keep fine-tuning his craft.
Penn State WR Jahan Dotson: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Finesse wideout with good speed and great athleticism who is fully operational on all three levels of the field. Dotson's passing scheme was well-designed and allowed for clear access to space for most of the season. His route-running is smooth but features speed changes and his in-air athleticism and ball skills look effortless. His confidence and competitiveness are just average against physical coverage and he's likely to see a lot more press looks as a pro. Dotson has inside/outside starting talent but a lack of physicality could prevent him from taking over games at the same rate we saw at Penn State."
Penn State DE Arnold Ebiketie: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Purposeful rusher with good length. Ebiketie is quiet to the edge with accurate, active hands and a pressure percentage worthy of projection. He's not bendy and loose but uses body lean and skilled hands to grease the edge and access the pocket. He will need to keep adding to his bag of tricks as a pocket hunter, as he lacks the base and body type to hold his ground and plug up run games on a consistent basis. Ebiketie could see action as a sub-package pass rusher early in his career. He has the potential to find starting reps as a 3-4 rush linebacker in the future.
Colorado State TE Trey McBride: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Two-way tight end with the size, strength and ball skills to help impact games in-line and in space. McBride has room for improvement at the point of attack, but possesses the thickness and determination of a true, in-line blocker. He'll need to improve his angles and play strength to even out the wins and losses against NFL competition. McBride lacks top-end speed and quickness into the route, but he can snap off route breaks and has the body control and sticky hands to win contested catch battles. Long athletes could suffocate his catch space if he doesn't play with more physicality and aggression during the route. McBride is solid in all phases and should appeal to every team looking for a combination tight end with early starting potential."
Auburn CB Roger McCreary: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Press-man cornerback with physical limitations that could create occasional roller-coaster matchups on Sundays. McCreary is aggressive, with the play strength to bully the release and alter route timing. He lacks fluidity in lateral transitions from off-man and lacks make-up burst to stay connected to cross-country routes. Tall receivers have advantages on jump balls and fades, but finding catch space will be a chore for opponents when he's in phase on vertical routes. He has average starting talent as a CB2/3 but needs to operate in a scheme that allows him to play hugged-up coverage, limiting operating space for wideouts.
Ohio State T Nicolas Petit-Frere: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Talented, athletic left tackle prospect who needs more time to develop before he's ready for next-level edge attacks. Petit-Frere possesses clutch strength and mirror quickness in pass pro but is soft on his edges, which will be identified and attacked until his play strength and hand-fighting improve. His inability to stalemate stronger players with consistency is a real concern in any scheme. He has plus play traits at a high-priority position but erratic reps against Michigan's power and Penn State's quickness generate a "buyer beware" label on a high-floor, low-ceiling left tackle with Day 2 value.
Pitt QB Kenny Pickett: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Pickett has five years of game experience and four years of starting experience for Pitt. He's a fairly toolsy pocket passer with good mobility. He operated in a passing scheme featuring vertical concepts that created big-play opportunities but left food on the plate when he failed to play chess against the back-end of the coverage. Pickett works with average anticipation but drives the ball with good velocity, which should help him shine in pre-draft passing drills. Pickett's touch and placement need work, but his accuracy stats were damaged by an inordinate amount of drops throughout his career. The top indicator for future success or failure will likely rest in a team's ability to build Pickett's trust, poise and discipline from the pocket. He can make all the throws, but he'll only be able to execute against disguised fronts and NFL pressure if he's willing to hang in and win with his eyes first. He carries a boom/bust label, but the 2021 tape and productivity showed off his potential to become a good starter in time.
Georgia WR George Pickens: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Lanky perimeter wideout with exciting ball skills but in desperate need of additional play strength and a clean bill of health. Resilient to make it back so quickly after an ACL tear, but needs to show quick-cutting ability for route-running. Pickens possesses borderline elite ball skills with in-air adjustments, strong hands and an enormous catch radius. However, he fails to put defenders on his hip and command the catch space to make his work less cluttered. The routes need more polish and physicality but he has the athletic ability to become a viable target on all three levels as a likely Day 2 draft pick with a little wider gap between ceiling and floor than NFL teams might like."
Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Pierce was a mismatch as a deep-ball target at Cincinnati, but is more likely to be tabbed as a possession receiver with the ability to create some downfield trouble as a pro. He plays a physical brand of ball and has combat-catch toughness, which is important because he's not an elusive route runner. He can work underneath or challenge a bigger, slower cornerback deep, but the route tree is going to be limited. Some players have traits that don't show up on the field, but Pierce utilizes both his physical and athletic gifts. He has backup potential with zone-beater and red-zone value, and will likely play on special teams."
Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Four-year starter and four-year winner whose hard work at his craft altered his standing from good college quarterback to early-round draft pick. There is nothing special about Ridder's size or arm talent but his improved confidence and field command has really helped him mature at the position. He plays in rhythm and operates with consistently repeatable footwork and mechanics. He's intelligent and processes quickly, which should help him find where the football needs to go regardless of passing scheme. Getting the ball to NFL targets accurately and safely, however, is not a given. Despite favorable mechanics, his accuracy and ball placement need work and he doesn't have the arm strength or release quickness to consistently survive off-target throws against pro coverage. He can run but is more of a pocket passer who can win with his legs than a true dual-threat quarterback."
Kentucky WR Wan'Dale Robinson: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Robinson will be tabbed as a slot receiver but that is underselling his potential. He's sudden and slick with an ability to make plays from a variety of alignments. He has gadget potential and can function as a dump-and-run target, acting as an extension of the running game. A lack of length and play strength could be a concern until he tightens up the route-running to prevent contested catches. He's much lighter than Deebo Samuel, but the competitiveness, acceleration and run-after-catch talent could have teams eyeing a somewhat similar usage for Robinson in the future."
Tulsa T Tyler Smith: 2 mocks
NFL.com analysis: "Power merchant who plays the game with a field demeanor that can work in his favor on one play and against him on the next snap. Smith is able to displace defenders as a run blocker despite lacking proper hand usage for leverage. He's explosive and athletic but struggles to sustain and finish what he starts. He's too quick to discard any semblance of technique in favor of bear-hugging the opponent and drawing a penalty. A move from tackle to guard would allow teams to feature his downhill power in the rushing attack while reducing exposure in pass protection. The holes in his game can all be filled if he accepts coaching and brings it to the field on Sundays. There is some bust potential present, but the ceiling could draw a team to him on Day 2 of the draft."
1 mock (in descending order of date mocked to Colts): Georgia S Lewis Cine, Ole Miss QB Matt Corral, Alabama WR John Metchie III, Michigan DE David Ojabo, Texas A&M G Kenyon Green, UTSA CB Tariq Woolen, North Dakota State WR Christian Watson, Maryland S Nick Cross, Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele, Alabama Cb Jalyn Armour-Davis, Washington CB Kyler Gordon, Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson, Georgia CB Derion Kendrick, UCLA T Sean Rhyan
Third round, No. 73 overall
- Nevada QB Carson Strong: 4 mocks
- Alabama WR John Metchie III: 4 mocks
- Texas A&M DT DeMarvin Leal: 2 mocks
- USC DE Drake Jackson: 2 mocks
- South Alabama WR Jalen Tolbert: 2 mocks
- Ohio State OT Nicolas Petit-Frere: 1 mock
- Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder: 1 mock
- Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce: 1 mock
- Kentucky WR Wan'Dale Robinson: 1 mock
- UTSA CB Tariq Woolen: 1 mock
- Maryland S Nick Cross: 1 mock
- Boise State WR Khalil Shakir: 1 mock
- Rutgers WR Bo Melton: 1 mock
- Washington State OT Abraham Lucas: 1 mock
- Coastal Carolina TE Isaiah Likely: 1 mock
- Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanna: 1 mock