Reviewing Indianapolis Colts rookies after the first five games
Colts 2022 Draft Class
As previously mentioned, the Indianapolis Colts drafted eight players in the 2022 NFL draft. Out of those eight, six have been mainstays on the Colts’ roster since the beginning of the season. Defensive tackle Eric Johnson was selected with the 159th overall pick in the fifth round. Fun fact, Johnson was the first Missouri State player drafted since 2011. He has been on the field for 31 snaps on defense and 15 snaps on special teams five games into the season. Although he hasn’t registered any stats yet, he comes in to relieve DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart in a thin interior defensive line group.
Safety Rodney Thomas II has stepped in and up big as of late since Julian Blackmon has been out with an ankle injury. Thomas II was selected with the 239th overall pick in the seventh round and was the first player drafted from Yale since 2018. Since getting his first NFL action in Week 3 he has seven solo tackles, one interception, and two pass deflections. Thomas II has started the last two games and had his pass deflections and interception during the Colts’ win on Thursday Night Football.
While Thomas II’s stock is climbing fellow rookie safety Nick Cross’s stock is falling. After showing out in training camp and preseason earning the starting safety job opposite Blackmon, Cross has fallen out of favor with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He is now out of the starting lineup, being replaced by the veteran Rodney McLeod.
Cross has played 117 total snaps on defense and 22 on special teams. He has now been out-snapped by McLeod by over 100 snaps. After playing 70 snaps in Week 1 (100% of the team’s defensive snaps) his time has declined to 46 snaps and then only one defensive snap in Week 3. Since then he has played no snaps on defense in Week 4 or 5 and only four and six on special teams respectively. During the time he was playing, he totaled seven solo tackles and nine total tackles.