Indianapolis Colts sign first-round pick Quenton Nelson, 8 other draft selections
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indianapolis Colts have nine of their 11 draft picks from the 2018 NFL Draft under contract, including first-round selection Quenton Nelson.
In addition to Nelson, the team has inked deals with defensive end Kemoko Turay, defensive end Tyquan Lewis, running back Nyheim Hines, wide receiver Daurice Fountain, running back Jordan Wilkins, wide receiver Deon Cain, linebacker Matthew Adams and linebacker Zaire Franklin.
Second-round picks linebacker Darius Leonard from South Carolina State and offensive guard Braden Smith from Auburn are the only two players who remain unsigned.
The Colts chose Nelson with the sixth overall pick of the draft after trading down from the third spot to the sixth spot. The Notre Dame product is considered a premier offensive lineman and one of the top players in the draft.
He started 36 out of 37 games at Notre Dame and surrendered just three sacks throughout his career. He was a unanimous All-America selection in 2017 and was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, an award given to the nation’s top interior lineman. Nelson earned Second Team All-America honors from the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated in 2016.
Turay (second round, 52nd overall) saw action in 44 games (10 starts) at Rutgers and compiled 103 tackles (54 solo), 20.5 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, four passes defensed, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown) and three blocked kicks.
Lewis (second round, 64th overall) played in 53 games (36 starts) at Ohio State and totaled 112 tackles (63 solo), 36.5 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, five passes defensed and five forced fumbles. Lewis ranks fifth in Buckeye history in career sacks. He garnered First Team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media in each of his last two seasons (2016-17). In 2016, Lewis was named the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year, awarded to the best defensive lineman in the Big Ten. He received Honorable Mention All-Big Ten recognition from the coaches and media in 2015.
Hines (fourth round, 104th overall) played in 38 games (23 starts) at North Carolina State and totaled 258 carries for 1,399 yards and 13 touchdowns, 89 receptions for 933 yards and one touchdown, 88 kickoff returns for 2,171 yards and two touchdowns and 11 punt returns for 135 yards and one touchdown. Hines registered 4,638 all-purpose yards which is the third most in Wolfpack history.
Fountain (fifth round, 159th overall) saw action in 52 games (37 starts) at Northern Iowa and totaled 150 receptions for 2,077 yards and 23 touchdowns. Fountain finished his Panther career as just the sixth player in UNI history to rank in the top 10 in receptions (fourth), receiving yards (ninth) and touchdowns (sixth). He became the 19th player from UNI selected in the NFL Draft. Fountain became the first player from the Missouri Valley Football Conference to earn MVP honors at the East-West Shrine Game. He was named Offensive MVP after catching three passes for 61 yards and adding 40 yards on punt returns in the contest.
Wilkins (fifth round, 169th overall) played in 38 games (14 starts) at Mississippi and totaled 279 carries for 1,751 yards and 14 touchdowns. Wilkins also compiled 32 receptions for 322 yards and one touchdown. He earned Second Team All-SEC honors from Pro Football Focus in 2017.
Cain (sixth round, 185th overall) saw action in 42 games (14 starts) at Clemson from 2015-17 and compiled 130 receptions for 2,040 yards and 20 touchdowns. Cain finished tied for fourth in program history in receiving touchdowns. He tallied at least one reception in each of the last 37 games he played in which was the second longest streak in school history. Cain was a member of the Tigers’ 2016 National Championship team.
Adams (seventh round, 221st overall) played in 48 games (26 starts) at Houston from 2014-17 and totaled 259 tackles (161 solo), 21.0 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three passes defensed, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Adams was named to the American All-Academic Team in 2016 and 2017.
Franklin (seventh round, 235th overall) played in all 48 games over his four seasons at Syracuse and started the final 39 contests of his career. Franklin totaled 311 tackles (187 solo), 31.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 10 passes defensed, two interceptions and five forced fumbles. He was just the second three-time captain in program history and was a two-time All-ACC selection. Franklin’s 31.5 tackles for loss rank tied for ninth in school history.