Colts 2018 Draft Analysis: Braden Smith
We continue to profile each Indianapolis Colts draft pick, this time going with second round guard Braden Smith.
The Colts had three second round picks courtesy of the New York Jets trading up for the number three overall pick. Indianapolis wanted to make these picks count and address some critical needs. They certainly did that with their second of these picks.
Indy opted to take Braden Smith, guard out of Auburn. This was their second pick of an offensive lineman in the young draft. Smith was a mainstay on the Auburn front line, having 41 consecutive starts at the end of his career. The Colts have had issues staying healthy on the offensive line, so this would be some welcome stability.
Smith is a big player, measuring 6’6 and 315 pounds. He uses that big frame to drive defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage. He uses his hands well and doesn’t allow defenders to disengage his blocks. Smith can also get to the second level well.
This pick was surprising on some levels, especially since they took Quenton Nelson with their first round pick. GM Chris Ballard did say he wanted to create competition along the line, and he certainly did that with this pick.
Smith will have a chance to compete for a starting job, but it’s unlikely he wins it outright. Nelson will start day one, and that leaves the other guard spot open for Jack Mewhort, who was re-signed to a one year “prove it” deal. But Smith should be able to provide some good depth at guard and can start in the future.
Next: Colts Post Draft Deptch Chart Projections: CB
Overall, this pick shows what kind of team Ballard wants to build; a physical, tough team that will fight in the trenches. Smith should be a welcome part of that, and should be a contributor on the Colts offensive line for years to come.