Colts selecting Tanor Bortolini named one of the best 4th-round picks by ESPN

ESPN’s Field Yates recently went through and identified what he thought were the best selections in each round of the 2024 NFL draft. In the fourth round, the Colts took offensive lineman Tanor Bortolini, who was picked by Yates as one of those top selections.

Bortolini was the second Colts’ draft pick to appear on Yates’ list, with the selection of Laiatu Latu in the first round being chosen as well.

Before making his picks, Yates does mention at the beginning of the article that the selections he made doesn’t mean that these were the best players taken in each round, but factoring in fit, value, and what the player will bring to the team helped determine what he thought the best picks were.

Here is what Yates had to say about the Colts taking Bortolini at pick 117th overall:

“I had a third-round grade on Bortolini, especially after a really good combine performance that emphasized his ability to redirect — an essential trait for an interior offensive lineman. Bortolini has versatility, not just in regard to the position he can play (guard or center) but also the scheme. He held his own last season at Wisconsin as the team moved far away from its power-running game that had been a longtime hallmark of the program. Bortolini can help open lanes for running back Jonathan Taylor and buy quarterback Anthony Richardson time in the pocket.”

Bortolini was one of the most athletic interior offensive linemen in this draft class, grabbing the attention of many with his performance at the NFL Combine. He played nearly 2,000 snaps at Wisconsin, over half of which came at center, but he can play both guard spots as well.

The Colts return one of the best offensive line units in football from the 2023 season, ranking in the top 10 in both yards per carry by running backs and in pressure rate allowed.

Starting at guard will be Quenton Nelson and Will Fries, along with Ryan Kelly at center. The 2024 season is going to be a developmental year for Bortolini as he provides depth off the bench.

However, while everyone wants immediate impact in the draft, it is also about planning ahead, and as we look beyond the 2024 season, as of now, both Fries and Kelly are set to be free agents.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire