It didn't take the Indianapolis Colts long to submit their pick after they were put on their clock, and it was simple: they got their guy.
Every team always talks very highly of the player they drafted, of course, but the Colts maintained tonight that Kelly was their guy all along. "He was our targeted player for months," general manager Ryan Grigson told the media after making the pick, according to the Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer. Grigson said that this morning he gathered his scouts together and told them to give him one name: Ryan Kelly kept coming up. "Good sign," Grigson noted.
There were plenty of talented players available on the board at the time the Colts picked, including several surprises like Shaq Lawson and Myles Jack. But the Colts didn't waver from their commitment to improving their offensive line and adding protection for Andrew Luck. "We feel like we have guys who can handle things on the edge for us," Grigson said, according to the Star's Stephen Holder. "But we've had so much musical chairs (inside)."
The Colts certainly helped to cut down on that game of musical chairs, drafting a guy who should be a reliable player and should be a long-term starter with Andrew Luck. All throughout the draft process, we have talked about how the Colts' biggest needs up front were on the interior despite the overwhelming majority of mock drafts suggesting the team take a tackle. The Colts felt ok with that area, however, talking Denzelle Good up a lot this offseason, and adding a center addresses the biggest need along the offensive line while at the same time adding a good player - one who NFL Media's Mike Mayock called the safest pick in the draft shortly before the first round began on Thursday night.
We can argue whether the Colts should have taken someone else who was surprisingly available at the 18th overall pick, but the reality is that Ryan Kelly is a good player and he seems to have been the Colts' target all along. The Colts got their guy, and it certainly seems like a good pick.