Quality centers are hard to come by. While I wouldn’t go as far as calling Ray Donaldson the greatest Colts center of all-time (the guy earning that designation isn’t too much further down this list), he certainly made his presence felt in Indianapolis.
After spending his rookie season as a reserve and special teams staple, Donaldson transitioned to a starting role as a second-year player. From there, it was nothing but terrific play from the Georgia alum, as he quickly became one of the NFL’s best starting centers.
During his days with the Colts, he earned four straight trips to the Pro Bowl and was a centerpiece of the Indianapolis offense. When his 12th and final campaign with the franchise ended in 1992, Donaldson was second on the team’s all-time list of seasons played.
There’s one more reasons why Donaldson consistently receives praise for his emergence as a starter for the Colts. It’s believed he was the first African-American starting center in NFL history, a true feat all on its own. When you carry that sort of historical significance, you’re more than worthy of this type of recognition.