Ryan Kelly: From One Winning Program To Another

Intro: Now at the professional level, Ryan Kelly is still playing for a perennial winner. How was the offseason program for the No. 18 overall pick?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Trying to gauge how a player will transition from collegiate football to the professional level involves numerous variables.

Scouts across the NFL sift through all those to try and formulate the most accurate reports for their general managers.

When evaluating Ryan Kelly, there were very few caution flags for the Colts.

Colts Director of College Scouting T.J. McCreight refers to Kelly as "rare", due to him bringing specific traits that lead to success at a position relying on so many mental aspects of the game.

"That position (center) is an adult position," McCreight says.

"It's a big boy position. You have to have a maturity level and an intelligence level beyond other positions on the field. That's why it's so important."

McCreight points to the program Kelly played in as a major reason why the Colts believe this transition will be much easier than the average rookie.

No collegiate program has consistently won like Alabama did when Kelly was there. Kelly played on some of college football's biggest stages. He also went up against a defense that had its fair share of NFL talent.

You wouldn't notice it watching Kelly, but he admits to a few early jitters after two months of NFL life.

"The nerves are there a little bit," Kelly says. "Everything is just kind of new.

"Certainly from where I was Day One, to where I am now, it's really become kind of home and second nature. You get used to it. You get into a routine. Those are the things that I'm really looking forward to."

When the full pads come on in Anderson, that's where Kelly should feel his most comfortable.

Yes, the physicality will intensify, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem for college football's best center.

The offseason program and minicamp provided the chance for Kelly to get to know the man he will be snapping to for quite some time.

In college, Kelly snapped to three different quarterbacks.

He doesn't need to worry about that turnover with the Colts.

"It's been great so far," Kelly says of his relationship with Luck. "He's a great guy, a great locker guy and a great teammate. He obviously pushes me and holds me accountable, but he's not going to throw me a curve ball all the time. He's going to help me along the way and that's what we need.

"As our relationship continues to grow, on and off the field, we are going to be on the same page all the time."

Happy Birthday Ryan Kelly!

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