In the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft the Colts took Ryan Kelly of Alabama. Kelly is a center which has been much needed on this team to help solidify the offensive line since Ryan Grigson became GM. There were some good defensive players still available at #18, but with how fast the Colts turned in their draft card it likely that Grigson wasn’t lying when he said they had been targeting Kelly for months. Guys like Myles Jack, Shaq Lawson, Noah Spence, and Andrew Billings were still there for the taking (and three of them still are), but Grigson did the right thing by protecting his franchise QB.
This offensive line needed to be address in the worst way and Grigson did not hesitate to take the best interior lineman in this draft. It’s been said, but Luck now has his very own Jeff Saturday. I personally feel that it a little premature to state as Kelly hasn’t taken a snap in the NFL and people are already saying things like this. I agree that he has the potential to be the next Jeff Saturday and possibly even better than him, but to say that now feels a little crazy.
No one wanted Ryan Grigson to screw up the first round selection and he did not disappoint. He took a needed position that more than likely aligned with his best player available approach and you really can’t argue with the results for this particular pick. Kelly is a plug and play guy who is very intelligent. A 4.0 GPA throughout college and the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year prove that. He’s also a killer blocker allowing ZERO sacks in his entire collegiate career…in the SEC of all places. Time will tell if those traits follow him to the NFL, but you can’t argue with thinking that they will.
Kelly is as close to a sure thing as you can get at pick 18, but just like every other rookie he is moving to another system and has his work cut out for him taking on tougher talents across from him. In the end, I’m glad that Grigson and the Colts brought this kid in and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is excited to see him in action. He may have not been a flashy pick, but he was the right one. Welcome to Indianapolis, Ryan Kelly.