The Indianapolis Colts came away with quite the haul in the 2018 NFL Draft, headlined by All-Pro's Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard. The draft has almost single-handedly changed the direction of the Colts' franchise and is widely considered Chris Ballard's masterpiece.
Pro Football Focus, however, was not nearly as enthusiastic about the class after the fact, as they graded it as an 'average' haul in 2018. Now in 2021, they have regraded the group as 'elite' in regards to he overall 2018 draft.
Here is what PFF's Mike Renner had to say about the legendary draft haul for the Colts
One of the best draft classes of the PFF era. Picking Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard and Braden Smith was akin to throwing down three-straight perfect 50s in a dunk contest. While the first two get all the headlines, Smith was kicked out to right tackle — a position he didn’t play in college — and earned overall grades of 79.8 and 80.1 the past two seasons.
While it is nice to see the Colts' get recognition for this draft class, I still think PFF could have gone a step further and also credited some of the other selections in the class outside of the big three. Tyquan Lewis, Nyheim Hines, Zaire Franklin, and George Odum (UDFA so probably doesn't count) all came out of this class as well, and have given the Colts quality snaps over the years.
However, it is nice to see every media site universally come around and call this an elite draft haul. It was mocked at the time as Ballard wasting three top 35 selections on "reaches." Now, those three picks are the cornerstone of this franchise.
Have thoughts on this regrading by PFF? Drop a line in the comments section below!
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