The Indianapolis Colts recently signed veteran offensive lineman Dennis Kelly.
Kelly returns to the Hoosier State, where he spent his college days with the Purdue Boilermakers.
He will boost Indy’s offensive line, which has blown hot and cold in recent years.
Dennis Kelly will add more depth for the Colts at offensive tackle 💪 pic.twitter.com/5IFVT8qPUV
— Colts Nation (@ColtsNationCP) May 11, 2022
The Colts offensive linemen excelled in the run blocking game – they helped running back Jonathan Taylor rack up a league-leading 1,811 rushing yards in 2021.
On the other hand, PFF ranked Indy’s offensive line 30th in terms of pass-blocking efficiency last season.
Kelly should help in that regard.
Kelly’s addition also stiffens the competition for the final offensive linemen roster spot among Jordan Murray, Brandon Kemp, and undrafted rookie free agent Ryan Van Demark.
Let’s take a closer look at what Kelly brings to the Colts’ table.
He Brings Plenty of Veteran Experience And Versatility to Indy’s Offensive Line
He is entering his 11th NFL season – his experience should rub off on the Colts’ younger offensive linemen, especially rookie Austrian tackle Bernhard Raimann.
Not only that, but Kelly has proven his versatility over the years – he can play either tackle position for the Colts.
After Indy released veteran Eric Fisher in the offseason, left tackle became a massive priority for Colts GM Chris Ballard.
On that note, Kelly’s acquisition and the drafting of Raimann should put any rumors of a potential Duane Brown signing to rest.
While Raimann has plenty of upside, he has been an offensive lineman for just two years dating back to his days with the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Although he has potential to start at left tackle, Colts head coach Frank Reich can opt for either Kelly or Matt Pryor to do the honors if he deems Raimann needs more experience.
A Colts offensive line featuring Dennis Kelly, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter, and Braden Smith sure looks good on paper.
However, if Reich elects to start Raimann, Kelly provides much-needed depth at left tackle.
“I did hear I’ll be getting first crack at it.” — Colts lineman Matt Pryor on the open left tackle position.
Others who could contend for the starting spot to replace Eric Fisher: rookie Bernhard Raimann and newly-signed Dennis Kelly.
Should be a good competition in camp.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) May 11, 2022
Kelly can also play behind Smith at right tackle.
Either way, Indy’s revamped O-line should help Taylor pick up where he left off last season.
They should also help protect new Colts quarterback Matt Ryan .
The Colts’ offensive line didn’t live up to expectations in the pass protection game last season.
With Kelly and the rookie Rainmann shoring up Indy’s O-line, they should make strides in that department.
Dennis Kelly Is A Solid Addition To The Horseshoe
The Colts’ offensive line looks formidable with the inclusion of the veteran Kelly.
The 32-year-old still has plenty of gas left in his tank.
He will provide much-needed depth to the Colts’ O-line in the next year or two.
Kelly’s return to the Hoosier State not only bolsters the Colts’ O-line, but also Indy’s chances of returning to the postseason in 2022.
Kelly wearing the Horseshoe and playing against his former team, the Tennessee Titans, is another interesting storyline next season.