Here's how the Colts address their needs in NFL Draft 2022

Scott Horner
Indianapolis Star

The Indianapolis Colts had four picks on Friday, April 29, in the 2022 NFL Draft, taking a wide receiver at No. 53, a tight end at No. 73, a tackle at No. 77 and a safety at No. 96. On April 30, they selected two defensive linemen, a tight end and a defensive back. 

From the owner:Ryan's presence means Colts don't have to force search for franchise QB

Here's what you need to know about each of the Colts' selections.  

Second round (21st, 53rd overall): Alec Pierce, 6-3, 211 

From He was a second-team All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2021 as Cincinnati's top receiver (52 catches, 884 yards, 17.0 yards per catch, seven TDs in 14 games, 13 starts). Pierce was also named a first-team Academic All-American by the sports information directors. He lettered in football, volleyball, basketball and track at Glenbard West High School in the Chicago area. Pierce's father, Greg, played football at Northwestern and his mother, Stephanie, was on the Wildcats' volleyball squad. His brother, Justin, played basketball at William & Mary and North Carolina. 

That makes sense:Colts address critical need by drafting Pierce with No. 53 pick

Third round (9th, 73): Jelani Woods, 6-7, 259 

From Woods was rated a top-25 quarterback prospect nationally in high school, leading Cedar Grove to a state title his senior year. He signed with Oklahoma State as a passer but moved to tight end during pre-bowl practices his redshirt season. Big 12 coaches thought enough of his first year playing tight end that they voted him honorable mention all-conference as he started seven of 11 games played (7-120-17.1, two TDs). He was also an honorable mention selection in 2019 (16-112-7.0, one TD in 13 games, 12 starts) and 2020 (8-129-16.1, one TD in 10 games, nine starts). Woods transferred from Oklahoma State to Virginia in 2021, garnering first-team All-ACC honors in the fall by grabbing 44 passes for 598 yards (13.6 per) and eight touchdowns in 11 games (10 starts). 

He's versatile:Colts select Virginia TE Jelani Woods in third round 

Third round (13th, 77): Bernhard Raimann, 6-6, 303 

From Raimann (pronounced ray-man) is an Austrian native who played American football there before coming to Michigan on a high school exchange program. He played wide receiver and tight end at Delton-Kellogg and started at tight end for the Chippewas in 2018 (10-88-8.8, four starts in 12 games) and 2019 (10-76-7.6, seven starts in 14 games) before moving to the offensive line for 2020. Raimann started all six games at left tackle for CMU that year and gained national notice for his first-team All-MAC play in 12 starts at the position in 2021. The MAC Medal of Excellence winner for academic and athletic excellence opted out of the team's bowl game to prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft. 

On the O-line:Colts pick left tackle Bernhard Raimann in third round 

Third round (32nd, No. 96 overall): Nick Cross, 6-0, 212 

From Maryland kept Cross in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia area) after he was an All-Washington D.C. Metro pick as a senior at DeMatha Catholic High School. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference pick all three years with the Terrapins. Cross posted 45 tackles and tied for the team lead with two interceptions and five pass breakups in 12 games (five starts) as a true freshman in 2019 and started three of four games played in 2020 (23 tackles, one interception, three pass breakups). In 2021, he recorded 67 tackles (3.5 for loss with three sacks), tied for the team lead with three interceptions and added four pass breakups) and two forced fumbles.

Trading up:Colts draft Maryland safety Nick Cross in the third round 

Fifth round (16th, 159): Eric Johnson, 6-4, 299 

From Johnson contributed early in his career with the Bears, starting nine times in 11 appearances as a redshirt freshman (18 tackles, three for loss with one sack) and sophomore (24 tackles, four for loss with 2.5 sacks, one blocked kick). The former football and wrestling star at Illinois' Plainfield South High School started seven of 11 games in 2019 (18 tackles) before doubling up on second-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors in 2020-21 (27 tackles, six for loss with 1.5 sacks, one blocked kick in 10 fall/spring games) and the fall of 2021 (43 tackles, 6.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups, three blocked kicks). His father, also named Eric, earned All-MVFC honors himself at Illinois State before playing in the CFL and XFL. 

D-line depth:Colts take Missouri State's Eric Johnson 

Sixth round (13th, 192): Andrew Ogletree, 6-5, 261 

From Ogletree signed with Division II Findlay University in 2016. He was a reserve receiver as a freshman (3-29-9.7 in six games) and started 11 games as a sophomore (23-328-14.3, five TDs) before garnering honorable mention All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference honors in 2018 (28-428-15.3, team-high five TDs in 10 starts). Ogletree did not play in 2019 and moved on to Youngstown State in 2020, starting two of the team's seven spring 2021 games at tight end (12-109-15.6). In the fall of 2021, he started nine of 10 games, catching 28 passes for 282 yards (10.1 per). 

Another tight end:Colts take shot on athleticism with Andrew Ogletree

Sixth round (37th, 216): Curtis Brooks, 6-2, 285 

From UCBearcats: At Cincinnati's Pro Day, his 40-yard dash, broad jump, bench press and short shuttle time would have ranked among the top five defensive tackles at the NFL Scouting Combine, and his 35½ inch vertical jump would have been 2 ½ inches better than any other player at the position. 

2 Bearcats become Colts:Colts take Cincinnati's Curtis Brooks 

Seventh round: (18th, 239): Rodney Thomas II, 6-1, 201 

From DraftScout: His most notable traits from Yale's Pro Day were his vertical jump (41 inches) and standing broad jump (10 feet, 7 inches).

Going to school:Colts pick Yale's Rodney Thomas II