INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time in a decade, the Colts enter an offseason not knowing who their left tackle will be.
One of the most important positions in football has been occupied by Anthony Castonzo since he entered the NFL in 2011.
Besides quarterback, it would be fair to say that no player/position has meant more to the Colts in the last decade than Castonzo at left tackle.
His replacement now must be found.
Now, unlike some other needs on the roster, the Colts could look inside their own building for the next left tackle.
Frank Reich and Chris Ballard have been busy with their discussions about this critical need.
Among those, has been moving Quenton Nelson over to left tackle. Since high school, Nelson has played just 10 total snaps at left tackle.
But the three-time All-Pro guard is open to the idea, according to Reich.
“Quenton wants to do whatever is best for the team,” Reich says. “He’s willing to do whatever is best for the team. What I appreciate about Quenton is that he trusts that Chris and I, along with the coaching staff, will make what we believe is the best decision.
“We want to get the best 5 guys on the field, at the best positions for them. And they can grow into those positions. We are still keeping all options open at this point. Obviously, we have the draft and free agency coming up. We know we have multiple options, multiple good options. But each one of those ends up with the vision of us having a top-5 offensive line. We are going to find the best 5 players to put out there. We know those guys have already expressed, ‘Hey just put us wherever you want us. We will make it work.’”
In free agency, if the Colts are willing to spend, there are some proven short-term options.
You have veterans Trent Williams (49ers), Alejandro Villanueva (Steelers), Kelvin Beachum (Cardinals).
The more likely route, if the goal is also to achieve the left tackle for the next decade, is to tap into the deep tackle draft class. An extra benefit of this route would be to get a very important position on a pretty affordable rookie contract, with the 5th year option for 1st round picks potentially in play, too.
Just like Tarik Glenn (drafted No. 19 overall) and Anthony Castonzo (drafted No. 22 overall), the Colts have found success in using that path for great answers at left tackle.
Is that where the No. 21 pick will be used here in 2021?