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Colts Earn an ‘B+’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Colts, who according to Kiper got an ‘B+’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The Colts had a nice combination of additions in this draft: they got stronger up front on offense, added some upside and immediate depth on defense, and they got some potential playmakers in the run game. In two of those three, I would say the biggest beneficiary could be Andrew Luck, who is coming back from a shoulder injury and recovery that will have us all watching him closely in 2018.

One way to protect Luck is to let him hand the ball off more often with better results. If this offense can operate more out of second-and-5 and third-and-2 scenarios, you’re allowing Luck to get the ball out faster. Quenton Nelson (pick 6) can help get you to second-and-5. He’s a devastating blocker, and a plug-and-play guard. Maybe a Pro Bowl version. Braden Smith (pick 37) is also a tough guy up front and could factor in soon. Nyheim Hines (pick 104) and Jordan Wilkins (pick 169) are a good mix of explosiveness and production. That backfield got better. Turay has pass-rushing upside and a quick first step, and Tyquan Lewis (pick 65) is a dependable edge player, though he’s not going to blow anyone away with quickness.

Deon Cain (pick 185) could provide some dividends at wide receiver. He comes from a system that has churned them out. Overall, it’s a solid draft for GM Chris Ballard and Indy, which added picks via trade and provided some cover for Luck.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/6 Quenton Nelson G NOTRE DAME
2/36 Darius Leonard OLB SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
2/37 Braden Smith G AUBURN
2/52 Kemoko Turay DE RUTGERS
2/64 Tyquan Lewis DE OHIO STATE
4/104 Nyheim Hines RB NC STATE
5/159 Daurice Fountain WR NORTHERN IOWA
5/169 Jordan Wilkins RB OLE MISS
6/185 Deon Cain WR CLEMSON
7/221 Matthew Adams ILB HOUSTON
7/235 Zaire Franklin ILB SYRACUSE


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