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Indianapolis Colts draft first defensive player with No. 15 pick

Colts draft UCLA defensive end Laiatu Latu

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts bolster their defense by selecting Laiatu Latu with the No. 15 pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Latu is a 6’5, 265-pound defensive end from UCLA.

With the Bruins in 2023, Latu won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top offensive or defensive lineman, and the Ted Hendricks Award as the country’s No. 1 defensive end.

Latu was twice named First-Team All-Pac-12, earning the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award and earning a unanimous spot on the 2023 All-America team.

The 23-year-old played 12 games at Washington as a freshman, but he sustained a neck injury ahead of his sophomore year with the Huskies.

Washington’s team doctors advised Latu to medically retire after missing the entirety of his second year.

After two years off, Latu transferred to UCLA where he was cleared to play and ultimately racked up 23.5 sacks in two seasons to finish his college career.

Last season, Colts general manager Chris Ballard selected quarterback Anthony Richardson with the No. 4 overall pick.

Despite an early season injury, Richardson showed plenty of flashes of a franchise quarterback and Ballard’s offseason moves have echoed that faith. The Colts’ GM resigned a bevy of players, but opted not to sign many outside free agents.

Now, the Colts return all 22 starters from last season, and the defense just got better with the addition of Latu.

The Colts are counting on Richardson to elevate the offense with the existing pieces, plus whoever the team drafts over the next two days.

Ballard’s selection of a defensive end shows his faith in the young quarterback’s potential in another year under offensive-minded head coach Shane Steichen, opting to provide Richardson with defensive support instead of improving the offensive weaponry.

14 offensive players were taken in the first 14 picks, a draft night record.

Ballard might have had his eye on an offensive weapon like tight end Brock Bowers, but the run on offense allowed the Colts to have their pick of the litter on defense instead.

Indianapolis has one pick in both the second and third rounds, which will start tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

With six more selections over the next two days, Ballard still has plenty of opportunities to bolster the offense heading into Richardson’s second year.


No. 1: Chicago Bears (via trade) – QB Caleb Williams, USC

No. 2: Washington Commanders – QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

No. 3: New England Patriots – QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

No. 4: Arizona Cardinals – WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

No. 5: Los Angeles Chargers – OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

No. 6: New York Giants – WR Malik Nabers, LSU

No. 7: Tennessee Titans – OT JC Lathan, Alabama

No. 8: Atlanta Falcons – QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

No. 9: Chicago Bears – WR Rome Odunze, Washington

No. 10: Minnesota Vikings (via trade) – QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

No. 11: New York Jets (via trade) – OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State

No. 12: Denver Broncos – QB Bo Nix, Oregon

No. 13: Las Vegas Raiders – TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

No. 14: New Orleans Saints – OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

No. 15: Indianapolis Colts – DE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

For more updates on the Colts and their 2024 draft class throughout the offseason, follow us on X and Facebook.