The Indianapolis Colts did an excellent job addressing their significant areas of need in the 2022 NFL Draft despite lacking a first-round pick. The addition of receiving weapons for Matt Ryan in second-rounder Alec Pierce and third-rounder Jelani Woods deserves praise, as does stealing Bernhard Raimann in the third round.
However, the Colts weren’t the only team in their division that made such a seismic shift in the right direction. The reigning champion Titans managed to hit on all of their top-100 picks while the Texans and Jaguars gave their young quarterbacks some more toys to play with.
The Colts should feel good about their chances to contend this year, as Ryan under center and a new-look defense led by Stephon Gilmore on the back end should be enough to turn this team into a winner. Over the next few years, the prospects aren’t as rosy due to the increased depth in the division.
The Colts should be concerned about the fact that these three prized prospects ended up on division rivals. Indianapolis needs to do everything in its power to make sure that the impact these three youngsters have on their respective teams is minimal.
3 rival draft picks who could cause trouble for the Colts
3. John Metchie, WR, Houston Texans
The Texans have had some funky drafts over the last few years. Even if leaving the first round with Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon Green was a bit controversial, the fact that Houston managed to grab the speedy Metchie and versatile DB Jalen Pitre in the second round is not what Indy wanted to see.
Metchie may have gone down with an injury during his final season at Alabama, but that speed next to Jameson Williams made the Tide almost impossible to defend. Alongside Brandin Cooks and second-year possession target Nico Collins, Davis Mills has enough receivers to give Indianapolis some real difficulty.
The Colts will need to worry about the Texans’ offense.
Indianapolis has been able to lean on Houston’s general ineptitude to guarantee them a few wins every year, but that might not be the case over the next two seasons. With an experienced pro head coach in Lovie Smith and a year under Mills’ belt, Houston could be a tough out for Indy.
In a division where a two-win Jaguars team was good enough to derail Indy’s playoff hopes, no win can be taken for granted. Matt Eberflus’ defense was able to stat pad against the Texans last year, but they won’t have that luxury in 2022 if Mills shines and Metchie is recovered from his injury.