Colts Draft Alabama Center Ryan Kelly In First Round

Intro: The Colts started off their 2016 Draft by addressing a need. Center Ryan Kelly, from Alabama, was the choice with the 18th overall pick.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Some might call it boring.

Others would say necessary.

In the end, the Colts are hoping they've secured the man snapping the ball to Andrew Luck for a long, long time.

On Thursday night, the Colts selected Alabama center Ryan Kelly with the 18th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Getting To Know Ryan Kelly-Why Kelly?

After five different starting centers in four years, Andrew Luck has his center of the future. The Colts have wanted to shore up the interior of their offensive line all offseason long and Kelly will be the guy doing it. Per Pro Football Focus, Kelly wasn't penalized and didn't allow a single sack in 1,032 snaps last season (488 pass-blocking plays). The Colts have said they feel good about the edges of their offensive line. Kelly, who started for three different quarterbacks at Alabama, makes the Colts sleep much better about the middle of that unit.-Colts Love Kelly's Size

When Ryan Grigson gathered his scouts on Thursday morning, he asked for one name to give the GM. "Ryan Kelly," kept on appearing. Some hours later, the Colts made it official with the selection of Kelly. An Ohio native, Kelly worked out at Alabama's Pro Day, the lone one both Grigson and Chuck Pagano attended this spring. Taking a look at Kelly during this year's NFL Combine, he has a stout upper body, something Grigson alluded to many times on Thursday night. Pagano hopes the Colts have found another symbiotic quarterback/center duo, a la Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday.-Kelly's Winning Pedigree

Kelly lost just five games in his time at Alabama. With Kelly going No. 18, he extended Alabama's streak to nine straight years a Crimson Tide player has gone in Round One. Last season, Kelly won the Rimington Award Winner, given to the nation's top center. It's not often true centers go in Round One (just eight since 2000). However, five of the last six centers that did go in the first round have then gone on to make multiple Pro Bowls. Kelly hopes to join that group after going No. 18, the highest of any center since 2000.

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