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The 2018 NFL Draft class for the Indianapolis Colts was arguably the best haul in the NFL — composed of eight players who started three games or more Womens Malik Hooker Jersey , the Defensive Rookie of the Year and arguably..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Colts StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Colts NewsYahoo Colts Team PageYahoo Colts ReportYahoo Colts Depth ChartYahoo Colts TransactionsYahoo Colts PhotosShop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub 鉁昇FL DraftThe ‘misses’ of the 2018 NFL Draft for the Indianapolis ColtsNew,27commentsESTShareTweetShareShareThe ‘misses’ of the 2018 NFL Draft for the Indianapolis ColtsTrevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY SportsThe 2018 NFL Draft class for the Indianapolis Colts was arguably the best haul in the NFL — composed of eight players who started three games or more, the Defensive Rookie of the Year and arguably the best guard in all of football. But who were some of the names Chris Ballard and the Indy front office missed out on?Not every draft pick is a slam dunk, and not every athlete reaches his full potential in Year One. Even with as good as this class was, some talents taken later in the draft may turn out better five or 10 years down the road. Here are some of the best players from the 2018 NFL Draft that the Colts could’ve had, if not for their actual selections.Round one, pick sixThe pick: Guard Quenton NelsonThe miss: Safety Derwin JamesIt’s extremely hard to argue that any prospect taken after Quenton Nelson would be considered a ‘miss,’ after the Colts locked up a generational talent at the guard position and started a movement toward protecting Andrew Luck. Nelson started every game this season and earned Pro Bowl and All Pro honors in his debut season, the first guard to do so since Zach Martin.Beyond Nelson (and the Colts next draft pick), safety Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers (pick No. 17) and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch of the Dallas Cowboys (pick No. 19) were the two rookies selected after Nelson to make either All Pro team. I’ll give the edge to James over Vander Esch, since the rookie out of Boise State had a slow start to the year, but it’s hard to say either would've been a better pick over Nelson.Round two, pick 36 & 37The picks: Linebacker Darius Leonard & tackle Braden SmithThe miss: Wide receiver Courtland Sutton? Josh Jackson?Between the picks of Leonard and Smith, there weren’t too many eye-popping talents that hinted at a clear miss from the Indianapolis organization. With that in mind, these selections came down to two of the Colts’ bigger position needs this season — wide receiver and cornerback.Sutton grew into a nice No. 2 role in Denver with 704 receiving yards and four touchdowns, while Jackson had 49 tackles in 10 starts for the Packers. However, much like the Colts first-round selection, it’s impossible to say the Colts regret drafting the defensive rookie of the year and a right tackle who would start 13 games in 2018.Round two, pick 52The pick: Defensive end Kemoko TurayThe miss: Safety Jessie BatesOf the 11 players drafted between Turay and Indianapolis’ final second-round pick, a few missed 2018 with injury and some just did not pan out. Meanwhile, Turay appeared in 16 games and started in three, totaling 13 quarterback hits, four sacks and one forced fumble.Out of Wake Forest, safety Jessie Bates was a full-year starter for the Cincinnati Bengals and amassed 111 tackles, seven pass deflections and three interceptions. Indianapolis does have a young duo of safeties in Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers Andrew Luck Jersey , but Bates was an all-rookie selection had one of the best opposing passer ratings (46.4) for a full-time safety.Round two, pick 64The pick: Defensive lineman Tyquan LewisThe miss: Safety Justin ReidThe 2018 class of safeties is one of the most deep position groups from last year’s draft, and yet another one makes the all rookie team after being selected four picks behind the Colts selection of Tyquan Lewis out of Ohio State.The Stanford product ranked inside the top 20 safeties by Pro Football Focus this season, and had 88 tackles and 10 pass deflections to go along with an impressive 101-yard pick six. Lewis was able to muster two sacks in six career starts, but also missed the first two months of the NFL season while on the injured reserve list. Round four, pick 104The pick: Running back Nyheim HinesThe miss: Defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand? Maurice Hurst? Maybe a punter?Two of the bigger fourth-round names were both on the defensive line: Da’Shawn Hand was an All-Rookie selection for the Lions despite missing three games, and Maurice Hurst had four sacks in 10 starts for the barren Oakland Raiders. Hand’s fit in Indy is a little shaky given he’s more suited for a 3-4 base scheme, but he was one of the best interior defensive lineman in his debut year, while Hurst played in an aggressive 4-3 scheme under Paul Guenther. Aside from those two, Michael Dickson was terrific on special teams for Seattle this season and was one of the better punters in football.Hines fit a niche role in the Colts’ offense this year, as the speedy, change-of-pass back to complement Marlon Mack and their fifth-round draft choice. He was third on the team in receptions and was fourth in total yards from scrimmage. In an offense that wants to feature as many personnel as possible, Hines was one of the better late-round gets for Ballard.Round five, pick 159The pick: Wide receiver Daurice FountainThe miss: Running back Jaylen SamuelsIf the Colts had passed on Nyheim Hines with their last pick, his NC State teammate Jaylen Samuels would’ve done just fine in his place. After hiding behind James Connor in Pittsburg, Samuels made the most of his three appearances while Connor was injured — averaging 5.5 yards per touch (7.7 yards per reception) for 455 combined yards and three receiving touchdowns.Fountain struggled to get things going in his rookie season, and appeared in just one game in Week 14 after spending the previous 13 weeks on the practice squad. The Northern Iowa product did remain on the active roster from Week 14 on, but didn’t appear again until garbage time in Kansas City — where he dropped a would-be touchdown.Round five, pick 169The pick: Running back Jordan WilkinsThe miss: Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-ScantlingWilkins served as a complement to Mack and Hines this season, and averaged 5.6 yards per rushing attempt with a smaller sample size of just 60 attempts. He did start three games for Indy, and had his first and only touchdown in Week 11 against Tennessee.Valdes-Scantling saw his role in the Green Bay offense fluctuate throughout the season. He had two 100-yard receiving outings, but also had six games with under 20 receiving yards.Round six, pick 185The pick: Wide receiver Deon CainThe miss: Wide receiver Equanimeous St. BrownIn round six, the Colts trade a budding wide receiver who missed the season with injury for another Green Bay wideout that had an okay (?) season. The potential that Cain showed in the preseason is something the Colts will want to hold onto in hopes for a healthy return in 2019. Meanwhile, Brown had an up-and-down year that finished with a career game against the Jets with five catches for 94 yards.Round seven Womens Darius Leonard Jersey , pick 221The pick: Linebacker Matthew AdamsThe miss: Wide receiver Marcell Ateman (but actually no one)It’s so rare to find a starter in the last round of the NFL draft, but the Colts were able to get five starts, 33 tackles and five tackles for loss from the rookie out of Houston. The only draft pick between Adams and their final selection to start more games was wide out Marcell Ateman for the Oakland Raiders — who had 154 receiving yards in six starts for the black and silver.Round seven, pick 235The pick: Linebacker Zaire FranklinThe miss: Running back Justin JacksonExcluding those who were picked up as undrafted free agents, Northwestern running back Justin Jackson seemed to be the most productive in the last 20 picks of the NFL draft. In 13 games and one start for the Chargers, Jackson had 341 yards from scrimmage two rushing touchdowns on 50 rush attempts.Franklin, out of Syracuse, appeared in every game this season and made two starts at linebacker — racking up 29 tackles and one pass deflection. CARSON, Calif. — Austin Ekeler has been a solid backup to Melvin Gordon in the Los Angeles Chargers’ backfield the past two seasons, but he hasn’t gotten much attention while sitting behind one of the top rushers in the league.Ekeler isn’t going to be overlooked any longer after his performance Sunday as the Chargers defeated the Indianapolis Colts 30-24 in overtime.With Gordon holding out for a new contract, Ekeler had a career-best 154 yards from scrimmage. He also scored three touchdowns, including the winner on a 7-yard run with 5:01 remaining in overtime to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive.“He looked good,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said after the franchise’s first OT win in an opener. “He broke tackles and made plays. He showed speed through the hole. He’s shown that all along, but he’s never done it from the lead role.”The third-year running back went undrafted before signing with Los Angeles in 2017. It is his second multi-TD game but the first in which he had a rushing and receiving score. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ekeler is the first undrafted player since Dan Reeves in 1967 to have at least 150 scrimmage yards, two receiving TDs and a rushing touchdown in a game.“I can’t focus on Melvin not being there. Today was a little show of what we could do,” said Ekeler, who had 10 carries for 58 yards and six receptions for 96 yards. “In the past I still made plays on the field. People are acting like I came out of nowhere. I made plays, but it was more limited because Melvin was here.”The Chargers’ running game was effective, averaging six yards per carry with four rushes over 10 yards. Justin Jackson had six carries for 57 yards, with most of his work coming in the first half.Rivers, who made his 209th consecutive start to pass Peyton Manning for the third-longest streak among NFL QBs, completed 25 of 34 passes for 333 yards. It was the fifth time Rivers has thrown three or more TD passes in an opener.Ekeler opened the scoring with a 1-yard reception in the first quarter. He then went 55 yards on a screen pass on Los Angeles’ first drive of the third quarter to extend its lead to 24-9. Ekeler shed attempted tackles by Darius Leonard and Pierre Desir before motoring up the right sideline.“I don’t think anyone was surprised with the plays he made today,” Rivers said. “It’s not too big for him. We ran that play we scored on at least seven times.”Indianapolis responded with 15 straight points to force overtime. Marlon Mack Peyton Manning Jersey White , who had 25 carries for 174 yards, brought the Colts within 24-16 with a career-long 63-yard scamper up the left sideline midway through the third quarter.They tied it with 48 seconds remaining when Jacoby Brissett hit T.Y. Hilton for their second scoring connection of the day. Hilton caught the ball at the Los Angeles 19, made Adrian Phillips miss and then extended the ball over the pylon before going out of bounds. The Colts tied it when Mack ran it in on a 2-point conversion.The tying drive was set up when Malik Hooker made a great one-handed interception in the end zone on Rivers’ pass intended for Keenan Allen. Hooker returned the pass to the Indy 20.“It was a tough loss. You go on the road against a team that was 12-4 last year, a very good football team with an elite quarterback, and they made the plays they needed to make to win,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “They deserved to win. It’s hard to say, but they deserved to win.”Brissett, now the Colts’ starter with a lucrative contract after Andrew Luck retired last month, had a solid game, going 21 of 27 for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Hilton caught eight passes for 87 yards and both TDs.“You experience every emotion. It was a tough way to end it,” Brissett said. “It’s a lot of things to build on. Just the resiliency of our group to come out and finish that drive at the end, and to convert on a 2-point conversion, I thought we did a heck of a job up front today. I know for sure that won’t be unnoticed.”STRONG STARTAllen had 10 receptions for 123 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown in the second quarter on which he outmuscled Rock Ya-Sin in the end zone. Rivers stepped up in the pocket and lofted it up so Allen could make a play on a 50-50 ball.TALE OF TWO KICKERSLong became the first player since Miami’s Olindo Mare in 1997 to have an extra point, field goal and punt in his first NFL game. Long, signed during the offseason after two years with the BC Lions in the Canadian Football League, was pressed into kicking duty after Michael Badgley suffered a groin injury in Friday’s practice. Long also became the eighth Chargers kicker in a game since the start of 2017.Meanwhile, Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri experienced something for the first time in his 24-year career: two missed field goals and a missed extra point in the same game. It is the 18th time he has missed two or more field goals in a game.“I didn’t help them out at all, so any one of those couple misses goes through and it’s a different game,” Vinatieri said.MACK ATTACKMack’s 174 yards were the third-most by a Colts running back in an opener. He had just 22 at halftime but gained 119 in the third quarter. That is the most rushing yards in a quarter by a Colts player since the team’s move to Indianapolis in 1984.INJURIESColts: WR Devin Funchess suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and did not return.Chargers: WR Mike Williams injured his knee in the fourth quarter and did not return.UP NEXTColts: Travel to Tennessee next Sunday. Indianapolis won both meetings last season, including 33-17 in Week 17 to earn the final AFC playoff spot.Chargers: At Detroit next Sunday. Los Angeles has won seven of the last eight in the series.