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Scouts' Take: Center Ryan Kelly

Intro: What went into the Colts selection of their eight draft picks in 2016? Hear from the scouts who have dissected these prospects from all over the country.


INDIANAPOLIS – A handful of NFL scouts, with more than 90 years of experience, chatting about the team's draft picks?

That is what had earlier this offseason in a roundtable with five Colts' scouts.

The five names listed below traveled all over the country scouting college prospects last season. They have seen these draftees several times throughout their college seasons, at games, school visits and at Pro Days.

T.J. McCreight (Director of College Scouting)

Todd Vasvari (Senior Player Personnel Scout)

Matt Terpening (Assistant Director of College Scouting)

Dave Razzano (Senior Scout)

Jamie Moore (Area Scout)

What were your thoughts on first-round pick Ryan Kelly (Alabama)?

McCreight: "I would say Ryan was someone we targeted for a long time. A couple things that stuck out about Ryan to me was he's from Cincinnati. And not a lot of guys from Cincinnati go to Alabama. But he went there just because he's a great competitor and wants to play against the best competition. That really stood out to us. Not to mention his overall ability as a center, his intelligence, his strength, his toughness. It was a guy since October saying, 'This could be a guy.' We were really hoping he would be there."

Moore: "You talk about a guy who brings all the intangibles we look for, smarts, toughness. He's got two degrees---marketing and business. Just a hair under 4.0 GPA. A really stable, efficient guy. T.J. talked about the competitiveness, you are talking about a guy who every day in practice had to go up against Jarran Reed, A'Shawn Robinson, two top-60 picks in this most recent draft. He's seeing competition on a day-to-day basis. Then you turn the tape, a very efficient, productive player, very consistent, gets his guy. Just a real efficient guy. Real stable. At a position that frankly requires it. A very likeable guy."

Vasvari: "I think that speaks to his test score. He's a very high test score. He's able to process information really quickly. We loved his tape when we watched it. Then we get him at the Combine and we interview him, and you can see his drive. He's a champion, obviously. Like Jamie said, faced some outstanding players every day in practice, then every day in the SEC. The guy is battle tested. He's extremely bright, extremely driven. I think his transition into this league is going to be a fairly easy one. It's never easy for rookies and rookie offensive linemen, but with his tools and his mental ability it's going to be pretty easy for him."

Moore: "Homecoming against Arkansas, a real rowdy environment, a guy that no matter what happens he's very consistent in how he approaches his play. I think he will have no problem translating to the next level, playing in the environment we have to play in, playoff football. I think he'll fit in very well from that standpoint. He's the leader of their offensive line room. He's the one that holds the meetings. He identifies the MIKE. He's the glue that holds it together so to speak. You talk about a guy who's invaluable and hopefully he'll be that for us."

Terpening: "When Ryan Kelly came into our room at the Combine, it's really intimating. We are all in there, the head coach, general manager, the coaches. The kid basically sits in one chair and they fire away with questions. Ryan Kelly has this inner-confidence about him that really stands out---his pro mentality. When he left the room, everybody was like, 'That's a pro.'"

Vasvari: "His tape is great. Then when he comes in and meets with you, it's almost better than the tape, which is a great thing to have. He's very intelligent, which we talked about in the interview process. Then just the confidence of the guy is really no nonsense. He's a tough guy."

Terpening: "He definitely doesn't act his age."

Moore: "He has a maturity and a serious about how he approaches his craft."

Vasvari: "I would call him rare."

McCreight: "And that position (center) is an adult position. 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."

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