This year’s rookie class has played very well so far this year. If they continue to play this way, the Colts will be very good in the near future.
Draft classes are the way to championships in this league. Very few teams are able to make enough big free agency moves to put them into contention. You have to build a franchise from the draft, and make smart draft choices to be successful.
That is what GM Chris Ballard has been preaching. He has been preaching patience ever since he took over as GM. Last year’s draft class though had mixed results. They don’t have the 3rd or 4th round pick from that class on the roster anymore, and the 2nd rounder (Quincy Wilson) is oft injured.
But Malik Hooker and Marlon Mack look like studs from that draft. Both have played very well in the time that they have been healthy. The same can be said of this year’s draft class, who already looks better than last year’s.
Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins all look like great players. So does Braden Smith. All of those players have already contributed to this year’s team. Leonard and Nelson are monsters already, and Smith and Hines have shown flashes as well.
Bear in mind that they are all rookies. They are just now learning the NFL game and getting used to the speed. They haven’t even hit their full potential yet. All of these players will be even better come next year and the year after that.
The Colts also haven’t even had all of their rookies available yet. Tyquan Lewis looks like he will be back after the bye week. He was a great player at Ohio State and should help the defensive line. Deon Cain was a stud in training camp before tearing his ACL. He will help the wide receivers next year.
So far, this rookie class looks like it has all of the makings to be a special one.