Leading up to the 1st round of Thursday’s NFL Draft, University of Alabama center Ryan Kelly seems to be the now near consensus pick for the Indianapolis Colts at #18 overall in many NFL mock drafts:
It comes just days after Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported that, “The love for Alabama’s Kelly is real,” regarding the Colts significant interest in Kelly from his league sources.
However, either the Colts are real bad at keeping secrets, or this is the easiest slam dunk next to the Golden State Warriors Steph Curry winning this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
There’s an obvious need in the middle of the Colts offensive line, where the team has shuffled through the likes of Samson Satele, A.Q. Shipley, Khaled Holmes, and Jonotthan Harrison, while even signing Phil Costa (who signed then abruptly retired) since drafting starting quarterback Andrew Luck in 2012.
As the best center in this year’s draft class and one of the best blue-chip prospects to come out at the position in the past few years, Kelly seems like a plug-and-play prospect, who could be a long-term starter and help anchor the Colts offensive line for the next 10 years–playing at a high level at that.
Or perhaps, it’s door #3, where the Colts are covertly dispersing a well-placed smokescreen to try to drive a projected earlier drafted prospect down into their laps at #18 overall.
A prolific pass rusher such as Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence will likely be held at a premium tonight in a draft class that lacks depth at the position and in a league where teams can never seemingly get enough impact pass rushers. That is, if Spence’s character concerns check out with NFL teams.
Like at center, the Colts have dire pass rushing needs.
That’s not saying he’s the Colts pick, but at the same time, there’s a lot of other prospects that could pique the Colts interest as well such as Kelly’s Alabama teammate ILB Reggie Ragland, Clemson OLB Shaq Lawson, and Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin among others.
If nothing else, it’s an interesting thought and what make’s the NFL’s version of Christmas morning all the more special and exciting.
Either way, Colts fans will know soon enough.