INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Kelly is yet to play a down in the NFL, but that doesn't mean his impact along the Colts' offensive line isn't already being felt.
Kelly — the Colts' first-round (18th-overall) selection in this year's NFL Draft — today was listed by Pro Football Focus' John Breitenbach as the 10th-best offseason addition likely to make an immediate impact leaguewide.
Kelly, a center, is one of five rookies in the Top 10, but only linebacker Reggie Ragland (the second-round [41st-overall] pick by the Buffalo Bills) at No. 5 and cornerback William Jackson III (who was picked 24th-overall by the Cincinnati Bengals) at No. 7 were picked after Kelly.
Here's what Breitenbach had to write about Kelly's immediate impact:
"Since potential Hall-of-Fame center Jeff Saturday retired, the position has been one of concern for the Colts. Ryan Kelly has all the traits to make the spot his own for an entire career. The 18th-overall pick still has room for development in pass protection, but can make any block in the run game and has off-the-chart intangibles. Kelly can generate vertical movement in-line, as well as block linebackers in space at the second level."
Analysis: Pretty much all of these traits have already been discussed at length by Colts owner Jim Irsay, general manager Ryan Grigson, head coach Chuck Pagano and offensive line coach Joe Philbin.
From Day 1, Kelly has been the assumed starter at center for the Colts, and he's certainly carried himself that way on and off the practice field.
Andrew Luck — the man Kelly will be snapping to — says the rookie has stepped in and impressed him, as well.
"He's been great," the Colts' 2012 first-round pick said of this year's top pick. "He's smart. He's conscientious. He's tough. I think he's got a little ornery in him. He's a little bit mean, which is great."
For his part, Kelly said Tuesday he's still working on being able to react to everything thrown his way without necessarily thinking about every little detail.
"Yeah, I think obviously the offense is always evolving, defenses are always evolving so it's always a challenge," he said. "But certainly I'm not where I was Day 1. As long as I just keep progressing that way I'll be good."
Many others apparently aren't disagreeing with that sentiment from Kelly.