It has been five years since Chris Ballard conducted his first draft as general manager of the Indianapolis Colts.
A lot has changed since that first draft, which included eight selections within the first five rounds. Only one of them remains with the team, and that wound up being defensive tackle Grover Stewart.
Bleacher Report recently decided to look back on the 2017 draft hauls for each team. Here’s how they re-graded the Colts’ group of eight selections:
Malik Hooker may have produced a lot more if not for injuries. Despite missing 28 games with the Colts, he showed glimpses of his ball-hawking skills, logging 11 pass breakups and seven interceptions in 36 outings (35 starts). Indianapolis declined his fifth-year option and allowed him to leave in free agency last year.
Marlon Mack held the lead role in the backfield for consecutive seasons, rushing for 1,999 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2018 and 2019. In Week 1 of the 2020 campaign, he tore his Achilles, and Jonathan Taylor took over the top spot.
In 2021, Indianapolis re-signed Mack, but he hasn’t rediscovered his pre-injury form. Now, the 26-year-old is in contention for the lead spot with the Houston Texans.
Grover Stewart and Anthony Walker Jr. earned prominent roles in the front seven. The former signed a three-year extension during the 2020 season. The latter made 12 starts with the Cleveland Browns in 2021.
The Colts’ 2017 group doesn’t have any star power, but the front office deserves credit for finding three starting-caliber talents on Day 3. The whiffs on Day 2 hurt the overall grade though.
While Hooker never truly panned out in the long run as the Colts had hoped, they did get some solid production from a number of players in the class. Cornerback Quincy Wilson offered close to nothing but wound up being the player traded for the pick that resulted in cornerback Isaiah Rodgers.
Stewart is the crown jewel of the class. He has quietly become one of the best one-techniques in the NFL, and he’s proven to have a strong impact in the middle of the defensive line.
Mack turned out to be a solid starter before Jonathan Taylor came along while Anthony Walker Jr. was a strong leader and made an impact on early downs.
A lot has changed since this draft, but it will always be somewhat significant because it gave us our first look at how Ballard conducts the front office through the pre-draft process.