How are Colts impacted in Bleacher Report’s 2018 re-draft?

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) celebrated with linebacker Quenton Nelson
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Shaquille Leonard (53) celebrated with linebacker Quenton Nelson / Jenna Watson/IndyStar via Imagn Content

Recently, Bleacher Report did a re-draft of the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s how the Indianapolis Colts were impacted in this re-draft.

The 2018 NFL Draft has turned out to be a great draft class for the NFL. Many of the players selected that year are currently the league’s premier players. With players like Josh Allen, Saquon Barkley, Lamar Jackson, Roquan Smith, and many others all selected in the first round, it’s certainly a draft class to remember.

It also was a draft to remember for the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts not only selected some of the best players currently on their roster, but they drafted some of the top players in the league. Quenton Nelson, Shaquille Leonard, Braden Smith, and Zaire Franklin were just four of Indy’s 11 draftees that year.

Knowing how things have played out, if this draft was done over again, things would look totally different. Indianapolis certainly wouldn’t be able to put together as good of a draft class. Gary Davenport made that clear in a recent piece for Bleacher Report where he re-drafted the first round of the 2018 Draft.

Unlike the actual draft, the Colts don’t end up with Quenton Nelson or Shaquille Leonard in this draft. However, they still get a pretty good player in Orlando Brown Jr.

Colts select Orlando Brown Jr. in 2018 re-draft

If Indy could, they’d certainly select Quenton Nelson again with the sixth-overall pick. Since actually drafting him, Nelson has made four All-Pro teams and five Pro Bowls. He’s been one of the best linemen in the league, and that’s why he’s selected by the Denver Broncos at No. 5 in this re-draft.

That leads to the Colts drafting offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. at No. 6. Originally selected in the third round, Brown has made four Pro Bowl teams since entering the league. He has been a quality pass protector for Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Joe Burrow. Indianapolis certainly could’ve used him at tackle.

The other way this re-draft affects the Colts is the pick of Shaquille Leonard. Indianapolis selected Leonard in the second round, and despite initial criticism, he ended up being one of the biggest steals of the draft. Leonard won Defensive Rookie of the Year, quickly establishing himself as a top player in the league, making four All-Pro teams and going to three Pro Bowls.

With that resume, Leonard wouldn’t make it to the second round in a re-draft. Davenport had the Buffalo Bills selecting Leonard at No. 12. That, of course, would force the Colts to go in a different direction in the second round. Fortunately, that’s not the case, and Indy still has Quenton Nelson and Shaquille Leonard.