INDIANAPOLIS – Now a week into free agency, the Colts have yet to make a substantial move at their biggest need of the offseason.
It really isn’t too much of a shock to see the lack of activity at left tackle for Chris Ballard.
Yes, it was wise to secure another depth body at offensive tackle, but it was always thought that the draft would be a great avenue to use in finding the replacement for Anthony Castonzo this decade.
And that’s a charge Jim Irsay is part of, too.
“In the draft, that direction that would be ideal,” Irsay says of finding the next starting left tackle. “We’ve seen that process work through Tarik Glenn and Anthony Castonzo. And we’ve been blessed there with that sort of consistency and great play at that position.”
The Owner did acknowledge the Colts could go a couple of different directions in the future at left tackle. That includes the team open to the idea of a Quenton Nelson or Braden Smith moving to that blind spot.
When you hear Frank Reich describe the void at left tackle, he is just looking for the best group of 5 and then see what happens.
“We want to get the best 5 guys on the field, at the best positions for them,” Reich says when asked about the left tackle dilemma this offseason. “And they can grow into those positions. We are still keeping all options open at this point.
“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.’”
Remaining in free agency—which is the route the Colts took to sign swing tackle Sam Tevi (44 career starts)—are plenty of names with starting experience.
Of course, all come with questions, and a contract commitment at a position group that already has a good amount of money invested, and more coming down the road (extensions for Smith and Nelson).
Given the draft quality, and depth, at tackle this year, plus the benefit of finding a big-time talent at that spot and having them on a rookie contract, many reasons are there for the Colts going down that path for this pressing answer.
Plus, it’s always good when the Owner likes it.
“It’s not the easiest position to fill,” Irsay acknowledges. “I remember sitting with Howard Mudd right before we took Tony Ugoh, we thought that would be a good match for us. It didn’t work out as well as we hoped it would. There’s always that transition process from college to pro. But it would be excellent if we could get one in the draft and we could see there for a long period of time, as our left tackle.”
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