Indianapolis Colts select C Ryan Kelly with No. 18 pick in 2016 NFL draft

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated NFL Draft Live
Friday April 29th, 2016

With the No. 18 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Alabama C Ryan Kelly.


The Colts and general manager (Ryan Grigson) have made their share of questionable picks the last few years, but this is a safe pick. Andrew Luck has been getting killed with pressure up the middle, and Kelly can come right in and improve that line. He's a road-grader at the point of attack, but he can also get moving up to the second level and dominate when asked to seal-block linebackers and safeties. Kelly becomes the first sure center for the franchise since Jeff Saturday.

• 2016 NFL draft tracker: Follow every team’s pick

Strengths: A slightly overlooked potential Round 1 pick at an underappreciated position. Kelly is more athletic than he is given credit for, but really gets the job done with smarts and strength. He can hold his own in the trenches. Even better, he generates a consistent push in the run game. —Chris Burke

Weaknesses: NFL nose tackles may overpower him one-on-one. Square peg, round hole for a zone-blocking team. —CB

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.