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Common Theme of the Colts Draft Class is Once Again One Word: Athleticism (*or maybe three letters, RAS)

Time will tell whether the 2023 Colts draft class ultimately pans out, but Indy’s betting on their high-end athleticism.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts concluded draft weekend on Saturday, and after a robust twelve selections, one common theme once again carried ‘Days 1-3’: athleticism.

And a lot of it.

Using ‘Relative Athletic Score’ (RAS), which is a metric that takes into account a player’s height, weight, hand size, and drill results—to produce a composite individual valuation on a maximum of 10.0 scale (1-10), the Colts’ lowest scoring player was 8.48 in this year’s class:

The average individual rookie RAS score for the Colts’ 2023 draft class: 9.48.

Further, even NFL ‘Next Gen Stats’ indicated that the 10 players of the Colts draft class, who were invited to this year’s NFL Combine, were tied for the most athletic group collectively using their ‘athleticism score’ since 2003:

Look, it’s no surprise that general manager Chris Ballard, who’s always valued physical tools and high-end traits, once again selected a class of world-class uber-athletes.

Recent history has shown us that it’s a common theme under him for the Colts:

However, it’s still intriguing to see to what exact extent.

The NFL Draft can often be a crapshoot—particularly in the mid-late rounds where there are a lot of variables in play that can often ‘sink or swim’ an NFL hopeful. In that sense, Ballard is banking on that his rookies’ high-end athleticism—with the proper coaching, will ultimately win the day and better ensure their respective success at the next level.

From Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson with the fourth overall pick to Northern Michigan’s Jake Witt with the 236th pick, Ballard believes that athleticism is king—and in a gridiron game that features so much speed, strength, and physicality, he may not be wrong.

If there is a hill to die on, top-notch athleticism may not be a bad one to go out on.