Indianapolis Colts Receive Major Praise For Drafting Prowess

Chris Ballard, Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts
NFL Analysis Network

Pro Football Focus recently conducted an assessment of the top five and bottom five NFL teams in terms of their first-round draft picks over the past decade. Among the standout performers were the Indianapolis Colts, alongside the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Buffalo Bills.

Interestingly, two teams from the AFC South, namely the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, found themselves on the list of the worst drafting teams during this period.

Let’s delve into the Colts’ first-round selections that contributed to their noteworthy ranking, along with insights from PFF.

2023: QB Anthony Richardson It’s still early to make a definitive judgment on Richardson’s potential, given his recent entry into the league. However, his raw talent and upside are undeniably promising.

2021: Edge Kwity Paye Paye has showcased steady improvement since joining the Colts, culminating in a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2023, the second-highest on the team after Samson Ebukam.

2018: G Quenton Nelson Nelson, alongside center Ryan Kelly, forms a formidable guard-center tandem, crucial to the Colts’ offensive line dominance. Kelly led all guards and centers in pass-blocking efficiency last season, while Nelson ranked ninth.

2017: S Malik Hooker Despite injuries derailing Hooker’s tenure with the Colts to some extent, he was a starter during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Notably, in 2018, he earned recognition as PFF’s 15th highest-graded safety.

2016: C Ryan Kelly Kelly’s consistency and performance have been instrumental in solidifying the Colts’ offensive line, making him an integral part of the team’s success.

However, not every pick was a success story. PFF highlighted Phillip Dorsett as a significant miss. While possessing remarkable speed, Dorsett failed to become the reliable deep threat the Colts envisioned. His tenure in Indianapolis lasted only two seasons, with modest statistics.

Looking ahead, with the 15th overall pick in the upcoming draft, the Indianapolis Colts aim to sustain their track record of strong first-round selections. Positions like wide receiver, cornerback, and edge rusher are likely targets for the team, barring any unexpected moves by GM Chris Ballard.

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