Colts' training camp preview: Who are the 2022 rookies? – Colts Wire

The Indianapolis Colts have a full 90-man roster going into the final week before the start of training camp and a number of those players are getting their first taste of the NFL life as rookies.
Though these rookies didn’t have to go through a modified offseason training program as the last two rookie classes did, first-year players always need some time to adjust to their new life.
The Colts have several rookies on the roster entering training camp. Eight of them were selected in the 2022 NFL draft while the other 17 were signed as undrafted rookie free agents following the draft.
Even though the streak of having an undrafted rookie on the Week 1 roster was snapped in 2021, there’s a solid chance that streak gets going again in 2022 as there are several intriguing names to keep an eye on.
Starting with the draft picks, here are the rookies on the Colts roster entering training camp:
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
The first selection for the Colts in the draft, Pierce was taken with the No. 53 overall pick after the front office traded back from its initial pick at No. 42 overall. Pierce is coming in looking to compete for a starting role opposite Michael Pittman Jr. in the wide receiver room and has a good chance of making an immediate impact.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
In the trade with the Washington Commanders that involved Carson Wentz, the Colts added an extra third-round pick. That pick (No. 73 overall) turned into Woods. Arguably the most athletic tight end to ever come out of the draft, Woods can be an incredible mismatch in the offense. It may take some time for that to happen, the sky is the limit for Woods.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
During their draft-day trade with the Minnesota Vikings, the Colts added the No. 77 overall pick to their slate of selections. That turned into the team selecting Raimann, who could eventually take over as the starting left tackle. Given the fact that he just started playing left tackle two years ago and the fact that he’ll be 25 years old in September, we may want to temper expectations a little bit. But he’s a smart player with elite athleticism so the optimism surrounding his potential is warranted.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
One of the crown jewels of the draft class, the Colts had to have Cross so badly that they traded back into the third round in order to get him. The Colts gave up a 2022 fifth-round pick (No. 179 overall) and a 2023 third-round pick so they could move up to No. 96 overall. It’s a good thing they did because Cross is now in line to take over for the retired Khari Willis, who announced the shocking move following the draft.
AP Photo/Butch Dill
With their first selection on Day 3 of the draft, the Colts added an intriguing project to the defensive line. Johnson comes from a smaller school in Missouri State, and he’s an older prospect. But there is plenty of intrigue considering his size and athleticism. Johnson may be more of a long-term play like Grover Stewart was, but there is potential with this pick.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
As a part of the trade with the Vikings, the Colts picked up an extra sixth-round pick. They used that pick (No. 192 overall) on a player they’ve wanted for a long time. Ogletree is an older prospect coming from a small school, but his athleticism and catch radius are two elite traits that cannot be taught. They like him so much that there’s a chance he forces the Colts to keep four tight ends on the roster when it comes to roster cuts.
Syndication: The Enquirer
Don’t be surprised if Brooks is a surprise standout during training camp and the preseason. He slipped to the sixth round of the draft likely due to his size, late collegiate production and final draft age. But the Colts may have found a gem given his potential. According to Pro Football Focus, Brooks had the best Pass Rush Win Rate (19.3%), Run Defense Stop Rate (13.1%), Pass Rush Grade (90.4), True Pass Set Grade (92.3) and True Pass Set Win Rate (37%) in the 2022 draft class. His 69.9 Run Defense Grade wasn’t too shabby either.
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A versatile defender out of Yale, Thomas is an interesting selection in the seventh round. At 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, Thomas lined up at both safety and linebacker for the Bulldogs during his career. Boasting elite athleticism, the Colts are going to try him out at cornerback. Thomas is on the fringe of the roster entering camp—most seventh-round picks are—but there is enough intrigue here to keep an eye on him as a sleeper.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Coan is the first stop on our tour of the undrafted rookie free agents. He joined the Colts following the draft out of Notre Dame after spending the first four years of his college career at Wisconsin. In 2021, Coan completed 65.5% of his passes for 3,150 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Fighting Irish.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Price joined the Colts this offseason coming out of Florida International where he spent five years. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Price ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash after posting some moderate production numbers at FIU.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Had it not been for missing 11 games over his final two seasons—nine in 2021 due to a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle—Verdell probably would have been a mid-round pick in the draft. He was having a strong senior season through five games, taking 78 carries for 406 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns before the injury. He’s an interesting player battling for the final spot in the backfield.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Coming from the same school as second-round pick Alec Pierce, the undrafted Young Jr. doesn’t have elite athletic traits and switched from cornerback to wide receiver during his final three years in college. He’s a project at the position so it’s hard to imagine he’ll make the roster.
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Fernea is an interesting signing in the sense that he totaled 239 scrimmage yards and three total touchdowns during his four-year career at UCLA. He played wide receiver his first three seasons and transferred to running back for his senior campaign.
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Nacua has a bit of an advantage over the rest of the UDFA wide receivers as he comes in at 6-foot-2 while posting a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash. He spent the first four years of his career at Utah before transferring to BYU for his final season. Across five seasons, Nacua totaled 103 receptions for 1,344 yards and 14 touchdowns.
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At six feet and 192 pounds, Crawford ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash. The undrafted rookie out of California recorded 40 receptions for 513 yards but failed to score a touchdown during his fifth collegiate season.
AP Photo/Gregory Payan
Demark is an undrafted rookie we’ve been touting since he signed with the Colts following the draft. Among the UDFAs, he has one of the strongest chances to make the roster. Demark received a hefty signing bonus from the Colts, indicating that there’s a good chance he makes the roster as the final offensive lineman. He’s an older prospect, but he meets many of the thresholds the Colts look for in tackles and has experience at both spots. He played 34 games at left tackle and nine games at right tackle in college.
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Seltzner may find it difficult to make the roster, but his movement skills and athleticism on the interior could lead him to a practice squad spot.
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French is an elite athlete on the interior while boasting some long arms for a center. He’s dealt with injuries throughout his collegiate career and is likely headed toward the practice squad. His athleticism is intriguing enough to keep him around there.
Syndication: The Coloradoan
At 6-foot-4 and 251 pounds, Patchan has 33-inch arms and posted a 4.70 in the 40-yard dash. Between Colorado State and Miami (FL), he totaled 19.5 sacks since his collegiate career started in 2015.
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If you’ve been following along this offseason, you know about Weatherford. A safety-turned-linebacker after he signed with the Colts, Weatherford is an elite athlete who posted 23 passes defended, four interceptions and 10.5 tackles for loss during his 41-game career at Miami (OH). He impressed during the spring practices and has a chance to make the roster.
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One of the top undrafted rookie free agents, Domann is also coming off of a strong spring outing. At 6-foot-1 and 228 pounds, the Nebraska product posted a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash and a 6.88 in the three-cone drill. He’ll be 25 years old when camp arrives but was projected as a mid-round pick entering the draft.
Syndication: The Greenville News
A sixth-year senior out of Clemson, Skalski boasts good athleticism even though he might be a bit limited due to his height and arm length. He was a special teams standout and that’s likely where he would need to make a difference if he’s going to make the roster.
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The Villanova product will find it difficult to make the roster given his moderate size and athleticism. In his final season, Rhyne posted 152 tackles (50 solo) and 8.5 tackles for loss.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Flowers was an older prospect coming out of the Division-II Pittsburg State. With that said, he boasts elite size and speed, and is the only undrafted rookie cornerback currently on the Colts roster.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
A linebacker/safety hybrid, Denbow is likely to work mostly at the latter position. He has solid athleticism but would probably profile more as a box safety than he would a rangy free safety. During his 43-game career at SMU, Denbow registered 183 total tackles (122 solo), 13.5, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and eight passes defended.
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Here’s a look at the LB corps entering Colts training camp.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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