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There were some questions in April, but after a dominant 2018 NFL season, Chris Ballard’s second draft class has been ranked tops in the NFL by

Obviously, the Colts received an A grade for the draft as a whole.

I mean, their first two picks were first-team All-Pros. Add on top of that Braden Smith becoming the starting right tackle, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins playing in all 16 games, Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay showing flashes of a pass-rush, AND your two 7th round picks playing in all 16 regular season games, and it’s maybe the easiest A ever. 

Here’s’s analysis:

“What a class. GM Chris Ballard eschewed sexier picks in the early rounds, instead selecting the best lineman in the draft in Nelson, who immediately paid dividends while earning All-Pro honors. Smith is a competent tackle who could improve into a very good player with proper coaching. Leonard was a revelation at linebacker, taking home Defensive Rookie of the Year while also earning All-Pro honors. Turay’s future is bright on the edge after he recorded four sacks in 14 games.

Hines was a nice change-of-pace back who found success in the passing game. Cain could develop into a good receiver if he can return to full strength after tearing his ACL in August. Lewis needs more reps to develop, but recorded two sacks in eight games. Wilkins was a nice find in the fifth round. Adams played in all 16 games, recording 33 tackles as a depth defender. Franklin was another depth defender with a less productive rookie campaign. In all, an excellent draft for Ballard, who landed two All-Pros, solidified what was a porous line and helped turn around the Colts.”

Yep. It went about as well as it could possibly have gone for a rookie class in 2018 short of every pick being an All-Pro. 

It may be cloudy and dreary in Indianapolis right now, but the future is certainly bright over at W. 56th Street. 

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