Colts' Draft Pick Jonah Laulu Thought He Was Getting Pranked When GM Called

Jul 13, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Jonah Laulu.
Jul 13, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Jonah Laulu. / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

On the final day of the NFL draft, seconds stretch into minutes into hours. Prospects wait around in their homes, restless, as they ponder the potential of an undrafted free-agent contract. Draft picks are announced in increasingly unusual fashion, and even the most devoted draftniks grow exhausted.

The ennui of the draft's closing rounds, however, created a priceless moment Saturday. In the seventh round, Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard called Oklahoma defensive lineman Jonah Laulu to inform him the Colts were making him the draft's 234th selection.

Laulu couldn't believe it, and Indianapoils captured the moment on video.

"Jonah... Chris Ballard with the Colts," Ballard said. "Welcome to Indy, man. We're drafting you right here."

"That's not a prank call, is it?" Laulu asked.

"It's not a prank call, I promise you!" Ballard replied, laughing.

"It's been a stressful day," Laulu chuckled.

Ballard then handed the phone over to coach Shane Steichen, who welcomed Laulu to the team. The Las Vegas native registered 8.5 sacks over two years for the Sooners after beginning his career with Hawaii.

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.