Ten down, one to go. The Colts have signed guard Braden Smith, their second round, 37th overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft. That leaves only linebacker Darius Leonard left to sign from this draft class.
Smith represents part of an influx of talent brought in by General Manager Chris Ballard to bolster the Colts’ long inadequate offensive line. At 6’6” 315lbs, Smith is an impressive linemen, earning the 2017 SEC Jacobs Blocking trophy for the conference’s best blocker as well as being named First Team All-SEC.
Alongside first round pick Quenton Nelson, Smith should be able to contribute early to making the Colts’ offensive line not just improved, but possibly help turn them into the kind of unit that can take on and handle the impressive defensive lines that have been built in the AFC South. His ability in run blocking and his impressive strength, he benched 35 reps at the combine, could help Frank Reich’s offense establish the kind of running game we haven’t seen in Indianapolis in a very long time.
With the current CBA in place, these negotiations are less contentious and so it is not really surprising to see players signed well ahead of training camp, but it is good to get it out of the way all the same.