Drafting Nelson gives Andrew Luck some protection up front, and he is the most important player on the team.
Leonard is the half brother of former Clemson linebacker Anthony Waters. He also was a state shot put and discus champion.
The biggest strides were made in areas that have been problematic for years - the offensive and defensive lines.
The Indianapolis Colts kicked off the final day of the National Football League draft by addressing their offense.
"If I learned anything from Andy Reid, it's O-line, O-line, O-line", Ballard said. N.C. State's offiensive touchdown machine Jaylen Samuels had to wait all the way until the 28th pick of the fifth round (165th overall) to hear his name called. The Colts traded up with Cleveland to get the slot, giving up their third-rounder (No. 67 overall) and a sixth-rounder (No. 178).
"In my opinion", Reich said, "the reason there was a championship in Philadelphia previous year was because of the fronts on both sides of the ball".
"It's about competition", Reich said. The 6-2 and 234-pound defender has the skills to not just make tackles but rush the passer and cover tight ends.
-Quick-trigger athlete who doesn't waste motion to hit top speed in a hurry. "We want guys who can play in space and close to the football".
Then, in the postseason, Leonard had a strong week of practice at the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl, impressing scouts before totaling a game-high 14 tackles for the winning West squad. He played in all 53 games of his four years on the field for the Buckeyes and has been a key component of OSU's defensive line in each of the past three seasons.
But Ballard sees a player with some elite traits and a huge upside. He posted 70 stops the previous year, 13.5 for loss, five sacks, and two interceptions to earn a first-team all-conference selection. Tampa Bay also has three other Auburn alums in running back Peyton Barber, defensive lineman DaVonte Lambert and offensive lineman Avery Young.
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