Just six days removed from his first-round selection in the NFL draft, center Ryan Kelly agreed to terms on a contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
Terms weren’t disclosed in the Wednesday night news release, but the four-year deal is reportedly worth $10.45 million, according to overthecap.com. The Colts also have a fifth-year option. Last year's 18th overall selection, Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters, received a $9.58-million contract with a $5.23-million signing bonus.
The Colts are counting on Kelly, 6-4 and 313, to fill a need position for years to come. Quarterback Andrew Luck has had five centers in four seasons.
Kelly, 22, concluded his 46-game college career at Alabama as a national champion, won the Rimington Trophy Award bestowed upon the nation’s top center and did not allow a sack in his final two seasons with just 15 missed assignments in 1,818 snaps.
His lengthy list of honors also included being named a consensus first-team All-American and first-team honors from Walter Camp, USA Today, Sporting News, FWAA and he AFCA. He received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the Southeastern Conference’s top lineman and was SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Several NFL analysts, including Gil Brandt, have suggested Kelly will have an exemplary NFL career. Six of the previous seven centers drafted in the first round in the past decade have made it to the Pro Bowl.
The Colts’ three-day rookie camp begins Friday.
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