Indianapolis Colts, NFL Draft Retrospective

Indianapolis Colts 2016 NFL Draft Retrospective

How does the Indianapolis Colts 2016 NFL Draft class look three years later?

In 2016, the Indianapolis Colts knew that they needed to draft offensive line help to protect Andrew Luck. Quite frankly, they needed it for years, but they didn’t do it until 2016. When they did, they finally drafted Ryan Kelly with their first-round pick. By then, it was too late.

The Colts were trying to recapture their glory from their AFC Championship game appearance in 2014. But Ryan Grigson’s poor draft strategy left Luck exposed, eventually leading to his injury. It cost the team two years of Luck’s prime, and only two of the picks from this season have contributed to the team’s success

Original Grade

Sports Illustrated: B+

The Sports Illustrated grade was originally high because, at the time, the grade might have been appropriate with the Colts finally addressing their biggest glaring weakness: offensive line. They drafted four offensive linemen in this draft, but only one is currently a starter.

FanSided: B

This grade was a little more realistic for the Colts’ draft. FanSided gave a B rating, and that makes sense. It makes sense because the Colts took too long to address the needs along the offensive line, and had to reach for some guys late in the draft to fill those needs. Reaching that far didn’t allow them to fill other needs that they had, such as filling holes in the secondary.

Draft Class

Round 1 (No. 18)

Ryan Kelly

C, Alabama

Current Team: Indianapolis Colts

This pick is the only one which really hit in the entire draft. Kelly has been one of the most important players on the offensive line. He has played quite well during his time in Indianapolis but has had some injury struggles. Still, this is the pick they should have made and were smart to do so. He has done well commanding the line, and was Ryan Grigson’s best pick during his tenure

Round 2 (No. 57)

T.J. Green

S, Clemson

Current Team: Retired

Green was thought of as someone who could be a long-term answer at safety. The Colts had already screwed up in signing LaRon Landry, so they needed to find someone else who could be available. Green was a bust, and never contributed at a high level. He was eventually moved to corner, and that moved failed as well. He only lasted two seasons with the team and is now retired.

Round 3 (No. 82)

Le’Raven Clark

OT, Texas Tech

Current Team: Indianapolis Colts

Clark was supposed to be another lineman to help keep Andrew Luck upright. He has done anything but since being drafted. He was inactive for most of his rookie season and has only played sparingly as a backup. It would be a shock to see him still on the roster in 2019.

Round 4 (No. 116)

Hassan Ridgeway

DE, Texas

 

Current Team: Indianapolis Colts

Ridgeway has been a productive rotation player on the defensive line for the Colts. He has had some big games and has shown the ability to get to the quarterback. Grigson ended up getting good value at this spot.

Round 4 (No. 125) 

Antonio Morrison

LB, Florida

 

Current Team: Free Agent

Morrison was a decent player at times. He started every game of the 2017 season and had over 100 tackles. But he only lasted two seasons, and now is a free agent after spending last year in Green Bay.

Round 5 (No. 155)

Joe Haeg

OT, North Dakota State

Current Team: Indianapolis Colts

Haeg was drafted to help with the depth along the offensive line, and that’s what he’s provided so far. He has been a reliable backup lineman as well as a spot starter at certain times. He might be the best value pick the Colts got out of this draft.

Round 7 (No. 239)

Trevor Bates

LB, Maine

Current Team: Free Agent

Round 7 (No. 248)

Austin Blythe

C, Iowa

Current Team: Los Angeles Rams

Retrospective Grade

This draft wasn’t the worst in the league, but it certainly wasn’t the best. It produced some decent players, but only one full-time starter. Ryan Kelly is the jewel of this draft and the only one who truly matters from this class. Haeg and Ridgeway are nice complementary players, but not good enough to be considered starters. This wasn’t the draft that set the team back, but it wasn’t the one that propelled them forward either.

The Colts didn’t have a good track record under Ryan Grigson, but this draft might have been his best. He was able to get the center of the future and a productive backup offensive lineman and defensive lineman. But too many players from this draft are no longer with the team, and that is why Grigson no longer has a job.

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