The 2016 NFL Draft has concluded, and the Indianapolis Colts made eight picks throughout the seven rounds. Of course, grading those picks at this point in time is a very subjective venture that is sure to be wrong, but people do it any way just for the heck of it. That's what we're doing here, and we're using these grades basically as a way to judge the initial reaction to the picks. Below, you'll find a brief write-up of each pick and my grade for them, as well as the grade from our Stampede Blue readers (as of Saturday night):
Round 1 (18 overall): Ryan Kelly, center, Alabama
There's really nothing to dislike about this pick. The only complaint has been that this wasn't the best value pick, either with "better" players still available or with 18 being "too high" for a center, but that won't matter if Ryan Kelly turns out to be a great player. He has the potential to be the long-term starter at center for the Colts with Andrew Luck at quarterback, and Kelly has the potential to give the team high-level play as well. He will be an immediate starter and should help protect Luck and open up running lanes. This was a very safe pick for the Colts, but it's one that will also turn out well.
Stampede Blue Grade: A (83% of votes)
Round 2 (57): T.J. Green, safety, Clemson
The Colts traded down with the Packers and still got the guy they wanted in T.J. Green. This is a player who has plenty of athletic potential and won't have to start right away with the Colts, as he will play behind Mike Adams and Clayton Geathers while contributing on special teams. This was a move very much about Green's potential and his future role, especially as the potential replacement to the 35-year old Adams after the year.
Grade: B -
Stampede Blue Grade: B (47% of votes)
Round 3 (82): Le'Raven Clark, offensive tackle, Texas Tech
This was a true value pick for the Colts, grabbing a lineman who many expected to go in the second round (and some in the first round). With many of these picks the Colts simply let the board dictate their picks, and it resulted in them getting some good players - including Clark.
Stampede Blue Grade: A (50% of votes)
Round 4 (116): Hassan Ridgeway, defensive tackle, Texas
The Colts didn't really address their pass rush by way of edge rushers, but they did add a very intriguing defensive lineman who can rush the passer. Ridgeway can play on the interior in a situational role and pressure the quarterback up the middle, something that the Colts could use. There are some conditioning concerns, but with a strong locker room and good coaching he could wind up being a nice rotational pass rusher.
Grade: A -
Stampede Blue Grade: B (46% of votes)
Round 4 (125): Antonio Morrison, inside linebacker, Florida
The Colts needed an inside linebacker after the departure of Jerrell Freeman, and they added one in Morrison. He's not the most exciting player, but he's capable of being a thumper inside and giving physical play. This pick is solid and addresses a need.
Stampede Blue Grade: B (44% of votes)
Round 5 (155): Joe Haeg, offensive tackle, North Dakota State
Once again, this pick was about value. Joe Haeg was a great value pick in the fifth round and is a very experienced lineman, having played in 60 collegiate games. He's a guy that will be interesting to keep an eye on as it pertains to the right tackle battle (just like with Clark).
Grade: B +
Stampede Blue Grade: B (43% of votes)
Round 7 (239): Trevor Bates, outside linebacker, Maine
I honestly haven't watched much of Trevor Bates, but from what I've heard and read about him I like this pick. The seventh round is so uncertain in the first place when it comes to the draft, and with the Colts desperately needing pass rush help this is absolutely a great pick. Bates is an interesting edge rush candidate and will be one of the guys I'm most interested in seeing this offseason.
Grade: B +
Stampede Blue Grade: B (49% of votes)
Round 7 (248): Austin Blythe, center, Iowa
This pick might be strange to some because the Colts grabbed a center in the first round, but in the seventh round taking a player you like is fine regardless of position. Blythe is a guy who should be able to compete with Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison for the backup center spot, so that's a fine pick in the seventh round.
Grade: B -
Stampede Blue Grade: B (36% of votes)
Overall Draft Grade: B +
I like this draft for the Colts. It wasn't sexy, but they added some good players, stuck to their board, and came away with a nice haul. I liked the trade down to grab two extra picks, I liked the addition of a starting center, I liked the addition of some talented linemen, and I liked that the Colts added some defensive players too. My biggest complaint with the draft (by far) would be about who they didn't draft, as they still need pass rush help. Overall, though, the Colts couldn't address every need and they also didn't try to force a pass rusher that they didn't like. I'll give them credit for that and for staying true to their board, and I like the value picks that came as a result. I think this group is full of some solid players that will help the Colts moving forward.