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 Indianapolis Colts Draft Review


Team Needs: LB CB OL


Selections:


Rd 1. 18 Ryan Kelly OC Alabama

Rd 2. 57 Tj Green Cb Clemson

Rd 3. 82 Le’Raven Clark OT Texas Tech

Rd 4. 116 Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas

Rd 4. 125 Antonio Morrison ILB Florida

Rd 5. 155 Joe Haeg OT North Dakota State

Rd 7. 239 Trevor Bates LB Maine

Rd 7. 248 Austin Blythe OC Iowa


Recap:

Indianapolis entered this draft with one primary goal, to establish the offensive line in such a way to keep Andrew Luck healthy. The team also needed an infusion of talent at linebacker and at least one cornerback but those needs were nowhere near as pressing as offensive line. Based on that analysis the Colts appear to have had a successful draft. Starting in the first round the Colts spent 4 selections on offensive linemen. Ryan Kelly was not a top 20 value, in terms of talent, but he was the only center in this draft worthy of such high consideration. Given the lack of interior line depth it isn’t shocking to see him go here. In the second round the Colts selected Clemson defensive back TJ Green. A converted wide receiver with great height and speed Green looks like a press corner. He might be a more natural safety though and could wind up moving there. Either way Green is a project with huge upside. Le’Raven Clark was considered by many, not us, to be a second round value. He was certainly a good value at 82 overall, especially considering the positional need of the Colts. While he could probably use a year to further develop his game, he figures to see some playing time as a rookie. Hassan Ridgeway is a big physical lineman that looks more like a value pick for the Colts than a need based pick. Ridgeway could compete for minutes as a rookie but has a limited upside. Antonio Morrison is an athletic defender who is perfectly suited to play inside linebacker for the Colts defense. I would expect the productive college player to compete for a starting job immediately in Indianapolis. Joel Haeg was another player who dominated in college, though in Division II, as opposed to the SEC. Haeg offers potential as either a right tackle or guard in the NFL and could develop into a starter after a year or so adjusting to the NFL game. Trevor Bates is another small school player that will need some time to adjust to NFL competition. He is a talented pass rusher though who might find a home on special teams, or the practice squad for a season. Austin Blythe was a nice hedge against injury or inconsistency from Kelly. He needs to add some strength and is best suited in a zone blocking system.

Analysis:

  1. Clearly the Colts realize that the health of Andrew Luck is the most important factor for their continued success. Stabilizing the offensive line a year before paying Andrew Luck the highest contract in NFL history is a wise choice. Kelly should start immediately. Clark and Hoag could both start down the road and Blythe offers a nice backup for the interior line spots.

  2. The Colts chose to add only TJ Green to their defensive backfield in this draft. Green looks like a press corner, which the Colts wanted. He’s still very raw though, and it would have been wise of the team to add a more polished, though less talented, player later in the draft.  

  3. I loved the Antonio Morrison pick. Other than Kelly he should be the best bet to start as a rookie for the team.

Grade: B


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