Draft Rewind: Colts' Last 5 Draft Picks in Round 1

These are the last five players that the Colts have selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
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We're finally seven days away from 2021 NFL Draft Week!

With it being so close, it's time to take a look back at the recent picks that your Indianapolis Colts have made in each of the seven rounds, beginning our series today with Round 1.

Commonly willing to trade back, the Colts haven't had a first-round pick in either of the last two years. They traded the No. 13-overall pick in 2020 to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, and they traded back out of the first round in 2019. They also traded away pick No. 26 in 2014 to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for running back Trent Richardson.

Let's dive in.

G Quenton Nelson | 2018 | Pick No. 6

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 48-of-48 games with 3,262 offensive snaps
  • Pro Bowl: 3
  • All-Pro: 3 (First-Team)
  • Colts Tenure: 2018-Present

A home-run of a pick if there ever was one, many analysts said you can't take an interior offensive lineman as early as the top-10, but Nelson has rewarded the Colts with a résumé that may see his career conclude in Canton. Individually, Nelson has achieved just about as much as one could after allowing just three sacks in his career, but he figures to be a big part of the team's future success as well. The verdict: this pick is as much of a no-brainer for general manager Chris Ballard now as it was back in 2018.

S Malik Hooker | 2017 | Pick No. 15

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 35-of-36 games, 124 tackles (1 for loss), 2 fumbles recovered, 7 interceptions, 11 pass breakups
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2017-2020 (Current UFA)

The Colts didn't have to think too hard about making this pick at the time either, but it has not gone as well as they hoped. Hooker was known for his unprecedented defensive playmaking skills in college, and it translated immediately to the NFL. Unfortunately for him, injuries have derailed much of his impact, especially considering he had a lot of football instincts still to develop. He's currently an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of his rookie contract with the Colts.

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C Ryan Kelly | 2016 | Pick No. 18

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 66-of-66 games with 4,214 offensive snaps
  • Pro Bowl: 2
  • All-Pro: 1 (Second-Team)
  • Colts Tenure: 2016-Present

Before Nelson, the Colts found another stalwart on the offensive line in Kelly. The 2016 draft's top center, he fell into the Colts' lap and has stayed there ever since. After struggling with injuries early in his career, Kelly has settled in as one of the most well-respected centers in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowls and a Second-Team All-Pro nod in the last two years.

WR Phillip Dorsett | 2015 | Pick No. 29

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 7-of-26 games, 51 receptions (98 targets), 753 yards (14.8 avg), 3 touchdowns
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2015-16

Naysayers of the Colts' 2015 first-round pick were justified after the oft-injured, underwhelming wide receiver lasted just two seasons in Indianapolis and never rose above mediocrity. Drafted as a deep threat who could also create yards after the catch, that's about all Dorsett managed to provide for the Colts. The Colts traded him to the New England Patriots just before the 2017 season, and Dorsett has since been with the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars.

ED Björn Werner | 2013 | Pick No. 24

  • Colts Career Stats: Started 16-of-38 games, 81 tackles (11 TFL), 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumbles recovered, 5 pass breakups, 10 quarterback hits
  • Pro Bowl: 0
  • All-Pro: 0
  • Colts Tenure: 2013-15

You'll notice a theme here as I mention yet another Colts first-rounder with injury issues. A quality athlete at Florida State, injuries mightily caused issues to Werner's effectiveness with the Colts. After being waived by the Colts in the 2016 offseason, Werner signed with the Jaguars but was let go before the season. He then retired.

How do you feel about the Colts' last five first-rounders? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!


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