In a recent ranking of interior offensive linemen in the NFL, Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly wasn’t named in the top ten.
The Indianapolis Colts have an elite offensive lineman in Quenton Nelson at left guard. Nelson gets a ton of headlines and recognition for an offensive lineman, deservedly so, but he doesn’t work alone. Nelson is actually a part of one of the league’s best duos as he gets to line up with center Ryan Kelly to his right.
Kelly gets a fair share of recognition himself, being selected to three Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams, and is usually considered one of the best centers in the NFL. However, a recent ranking has snubbed Kelly of that status.
In ESPN’s annual poll of some coaches, execs, scouts, and players to rank the 10-best players and each position, Kelly was left off the list for interior offensive linemen. Nelson was atop the list for a third-straight year, and Kelly has joined him on the list in the last two years, but he didn’t make the cut this time.
Ryan Kelly not voted as a top-10 interior offensive linemen
Kelly was present in the honorable mentions section of the article but his write-up wasn’t all that favorable. One high-ranking team official was quoted saying, “He’s a good player but probably gets overinflated by playing next to Quenton [Nelson].” As a result, three centers made the list instead of Kelly.
While both Nelson and Kelly likely benefit from playing next to each other, it’s a stretch to say that Kelly is being overrated because he plays alongside Nelson. Ryan Kelly has proved that he’s a quality lineman in the NFL in his own right.
Cut on the film and Kelly can be seen playing an instrumental part in Indy’s successful run game and also being a quality pass protector. He and Nelson are both crucial players that work together to elevate the Colts’ offensive line and the team as a whole.