When you are a high draft pick, you are going to have your good moments. You will show why the team picked you as high as they did. The key for those players to take their game to the next level, however, is consistency.
For Indianapolis Colts second-year center Ryan Kelly, that is what Bleacher Report says is currently missing from his game.
This week, BR’s Brad Gagnon wrote a piece where he looked at the NFL’s top 24 second and third-year players and their one big flaw that each needs to fix in their game.
For starters, it’s good to see that other people recognize Kelly among the league’s top young players. And Gagnon does have a point when it comes to Kelly, saying:
“Ryan Kelly's rookie campaign was a success. He started all 16 games, shoring up the middle of an offensive line that had been in search of that kind of stability for quite a while. But he's not a superstar yet, and in order to get there, the Alabama product has to become more consistent from week to week.
He shined in Houston, Minnesota and Tennessee but struggled quite a bit against San Diego, Chicago, Kansas City and the New York Jets.”
Kelly did struggle at times with upper echelon interior defensive linemen, which is understandable for a rookie. However, there has never been a doubt whether Kelly would develop into a successful, dependable lineman for the Colts.
He allowed no sacks in 626 passing snaps in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus. They ranked him as the 19th overall center in the NFL with an 81.0 grade. The top center, Matt Paradis of the Denver Broncos, had a 90.7. As you see, there’s not a huge difference there. Kelly was the Colts' second-best offensive lineman, only trailing left tackle Anthony Castonzo (84.2).
Kelly was also only penalized three times -- impressive for a rookie. He helped turn around an offensive line that Football Outsiders ranked as the No. 3 run-blocking unit in the NFL.
The young offensive line centerpiece has received praise elsewhere this offseason, being named to NFL.com’s All-Under-25 Team, as well as being named a potential first-time Pro Bowler in 2017.