2016 NFL Draft: Colts get an A+ for drafting Ryan Kelly with 18th pick
The Colts just beefed up their offensive line.
It's not often that NFL teams go for a true center in the first round of the draft, but that's exactly what the Colts did on Thursday.
With the 18th overall pick, Indianpolis selected former Alabama center Ryan Kelly. A three-year starter at Alabama, Kelly took home the Rimington Trophy in 2015, an award that goes to the college football's top center.
CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco is almost always a fan of any team that beefs up its offensive line, so it's not shock to see that Prisco really liked this pick for the Colts.
A+ for the Kelly pick by the Colts. Easy decision on a dominant player.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) April 29, 2016
Kelly's stock shot up at the NFL combine in February, where he showed off his athleticism. The center ran a 5.03 40-yard dash, which was the fastest of any center and the sixth-fastest of any linemen in Indy.
According to the guys over at NFLDraftScout.com, it's Kelly's athleticism that will likely allow him to succeed at the pro level: "Quite athletic, slipping to the second level easily while run blocking and mirroring defenders while in pass protection. Has not allowed a sack the past two years."
Not only did he go two years without allowing a sack, but Kelly was also only called for one penalty in all of 2015.
True centers aren't normally drafted this high, but the Colts obviously felt that Kelly was worth the pick, which makes sense because finding a way to protect Andrew Luck was one of the main things the Colts were looking to do in this draft.
As the 18th overall pick, Kelly will take home about $10.5 million over the life of his rookie deal.
The maximum Ryan Kelly will get in his 4-year rookie deal is $10,450,985, which includes a signing bonus of no more than $5,800,716.— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) April 29, 2016
Getting drafted as a center isn't the only thing that makes Kelly a rarity, either. Although you regularly see Alabama players selected in the first round of the draft, it's not often that one of those players is an offensive linemen.
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