The Indianapolis Colts were looking to improve their offensive line in this years after a poor showing in 2017. Did they improve it?
Ever since the Indianapolis Colts drafted quarterback Andrew Luck, he has suffered a great number of injuries due to their poor offensive line play. In 2017 — albeit with Luck sidelined due to injury — the Colts allowed the most sacks in the NFL with 56. They were also poor as a rushing unit as they recorded 3.7 yards per rushing play (T-27th in the NFL), and averaged 103.8 yards rushing per game (22nd in the NFL).
During the 2018 NFL Draft, it was clear that general manager Chris Ballard had to improve the play of their offensive line, or else they would run the risk of Andrew Luck continuing to get injured. The two guards they selected in Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith will prove to be excellent additions for the Colts in 2018, ultimately improving their offensive line.
Let’s take a look at each player.
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
Guard prospect Quenton Nelson was selected with the sixth-overall pick in this years draft, and according to Ballard, he was the easiest pick he has ever made. Who can blame him for saying that though?
When analyzing Nelson’s tape, his ability as a guard puts him into consideration as one of the best prospects in this year’s draft class, and well as one of the best guard prospects since Zack Martin. Here is one example of athletic ability, something that is pretty rare for a 6-5, 325-pound man.
Have any concerns about his ability to run block? Say no more.
If I’m a Colts fan, I’m ecstatic at the fact that they were able to land Nelson. He will prove from day one to be a valuable player for the Colts as he’ll be able to keep Luck upright while creating lanes for running backs to access.
Braden Smith, OG, Auburn
On Day 2 of the draft after selecting Nelson in the first round, Ballard decided to double down on guards by selecting Braden Smith out of Auburn. When analyzing Smith’s film, he is an absolute mauler in the run game and shows the ability to pass protect as he only allowed three sacks in 2017. Selecting Smith in the second round will also prove to be an excellent pick for the Colts in 2018.