Defense a Draft Focus For Colts
The Indianapolis Colts entered the 2021 NFL Draft with very few needs, but there were some holes that needed to be addressed.
The defensive side of the ball was the primary focus in the first few picks, but some upgrades at offensive skill positions were also made.
Defensive end Kwity Paye out of Michigan was the first player selected by the Colts with the 21st overall pick in the NFL Draft. Most expected that the Colts would go with an offensive lineman in the first round, but the team decided to go a different direction.
The biggest surprise for the Colts in the 2021 NFL Draft is that they stayed on the defensive side of the ball in the second round as well. Draft analysts and experts continued to predict that a new left guard would be chosen by the Colts, but the team went with another defensive end in Round 2.
Dayo Odeyingbo out of Vanderbilt was chosen with the 54th overall pick, and that should help with depth issues at that position. The Colts have only chosen defensive linemen with their first two NFL Draft picks one other time in franchise history.
The Colts finally went with an offensive player in the 4th Round, but it came at the tight end position and not on the offensive line. Kylen Granson, out of SMU, was chosen with the 127th overall draft pick, and he is expected to be the backup to Jack Doyle.
Florida safety Shawn Davis was the Colts 5th round selection, and Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger was taken in the 6th round. With the 229th pick in the seventh round, the Colts selected wide receiver Mike Strachan out of Charleston.
Finally, the Colts attempted to address their needs on the offensive line in the 7th and final round of the NFL Draft. Penn State offensive lineman Will Fries was selected with the 248th overall pick in the draft.
This draft did not go the way that most expected it would for the Colts, but the team can still make some improvements to its roster before the start of the 2021 season.
Colts Exercise Nelson’s Option
Before the 2021 NFL Draft began, the Indianapolis Colts made a decision on the contract of guard Quenton Nelson. Nelson has been one of the best offensive linemen since joining the league, and the Colts decided to exercise the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.
Nelson was the sixth overall draft pick in 2018, and he became an instant starter for the Colts. He is the first offensive lineman in NFL history to be named to the All-Pro team in each of his first three seasons in the league.
The Colts will be paying Nelson nearly $14 million per year until the end of this deal, but they are likely to try and extend him before that occurs. Nelson has helped the Colts allow just 71 sacks over the last three seasons, the second-fewest in the league.
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