The Indianapolis Colts are right in the middle of the offseason training program with the hope that some of their young players will continue their development in bigger roles on both sides of the roster.
As we know when it comes to the Colts, they love to build through the draft and develop those picks. Entering 2022, there are plenty of roles up for grabs for some of those recent draft classes. By recent draft picks, we mean the 2020 and 2021 classes.
We won’t be including obvious names like Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr. and Kwity Paye—players with entrenched roles at their respective positions.
Here’s a look at six recent Colts’ draft picks with the opportunity to play more in 2022:
G Danny Pinter
AP Photo/Darryl Webb
Draft: 2020, fifth round, No. 149 overall
2021 snaps: 227 (22%)
Pinter is the favorite right now to work as the starting right guard after Mark Glowinski signed a three-year deal with the New York Giants in free agency. The Ball State product has sort of been waiting in the wings for this opportunity as the Colts wanted to develop his game further before giving him the chance. He impressed in a few spot start situations during the 2021 season and should be the favorite to hold down the right guard spot when training camp arrives.
CB Isaiah Rodgers
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Draft: 2020, sixth round, No. 211 overall
2021 snaps: 525 (48%)
Rodgers is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite breakout candidate for the Colts in 2022—and for good reason. The Massachussetts product has made strides in every season since the Colts traded away Quincy Wilson and grabbed Rodgers with that pick. Despite his slight frame, Rodgers has proven he can handle work both on the outside and in the slot. He’ll be competing with Brandon Facyson for the starting No. 3 cornerback spot, assuming Kenny Moore’s contract situation doesn’t leak over into the season. According to Pro Football Focus, Rodgers allowed just 10.7 yards per reception and a 72.2 passer rating in coverage during the 2021 season so an increased role is certainly in the books.
WR Dezmon Patmon
AP Photo/Justin Rex
Draft: 2020, sixth round, No. 212 overall
2021 snaps: 64 (12%)
Since being drafted out of Washington State, Patmon has played just nine games and 66 snaps in total. During his short career, he has two receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown on four targets. But an opportunity will arise for him and others in the room this season. After the trio of Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce and Parris Campbell, there are no guarantees for the No. 4 wide receiver spot. Patmon brings an excellent blend of size and athleticism to work on the boundary, but he’ll need to show off some improvements if he wants to claim the open spot in the wide receiver room.
DL Dayo Odeyingbo
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Draft: 2021, second round, No. 54 overall
2021 snaps: 173 (27%)
This should be an exciting year for Odeyingbo. After the majority of his rookie offseason and regular season was spent rehabbing a torn Achilles, he finally gets an offseason to prepare for a bigger role in a new defense. We saw some flashes down the stretch with what Odeyingbo can do, particularly when he sealed the game against the Jaguars with a fumble. The versatile product from Vanderbilt will work both on the edge and at the three-technique with the hopes of wreaking havoc as a pass rusher due to his freaky length and athleticism. Expectations should be tempered slightly, but we could see plenty of impact plays from Hurricane Dayo in 2022.
TE Kylen Granson
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Draft: 2021, fourth round, No. 127 overall
2021 snaps: 228 (21%)
Granson did almost exactly what we expected from a fourth-round rookie tight end in 2021. He flashed a bit late in the season, but his role was mostly rotational as the third player in the room behind Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox. But now Doyle is kicking his feet up in retirement, and Alie-Cox is projected to start as the Y tight end in the offense. This gives Granson a chance to hold the impactful role as the H-back, similar to what we saw with Trey Burton in 2020. Granson will have to fend off rookie Jelani Woods, whose ceiling is extremely high. However, the SMU product has a chance to carve out a strong role approaching a 40-50% snap share in 2022.
WR Mike Strachan
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
Draft: 2021, seventh round, No. 229 overall
2021 snaps: 62 (15%)
It was a fun time when Strachan was all the rage during preseason and training camp. However, expectations were rightly tempered during his rookie season. While Strachan likely still has a ways to go with his development, the opportunity for an increased role will be there almost in the same vein as that of Patmon. Strachan presents a unique blend of size and athleticism that could certainly land him a bigger role in the offense. He just has to show off some improvements when it comes to the nuance of route running and attention to detail on a play-to-play basis after making the jump from Division-II to the NFL.