Thursday, January 24, 2013
Indy's O-line rebuild
By Tim Kavanagh
The Indianapolis Colts are more fortunate than some other teams in that they don't have a lot of starters set to hit free agency this offseason; of the ones that are, it's unclear whether they're interested in paying the market price to retain them. But that doesn't mean that they've assembled a perfect team that needs no improvement. A microcosm of this reality can be seen on the offensive line.
The Colts have one surefire building block in Anthony Castonzo, who was the club's first-round pick in 2011. On the opposite end of the line they had Winston Justice in 2012, but Justice is one of the players with an expiring deal. Between the two, they got uneven play from Joe Reitz, Samson Satele and Mike McGlynn, and this appears to be an area where they may look to make a significant investment this upcoming offseason.
The FAs on the interior line include Buffalo's Andy Levitre and the Jets' Brandon Moore. In the draft, Alabama's Chance Warmack will be long-gone by the time the Colts' first-round pick comes around, but it's possible that UNC's Jonathan Cooper could slip to them at No. 24, or they could target players like Kyle Long, Brian Winters or Larry Warford later. Another possibility -- if Justice leaves -- is to use that No. 24 pick on a tackle, as the case was in Mel Kiper Jr.'s initial mock draft, with them taking Menelik Watson:
Mel Kiper Jr.Mock Draft 1.0
"Who? Well, suffice to say, after just one year at Florida State, scouts know all about Watson, and people in NFL front offices are starting to catch up. This is a kid who has played basketball at the D-I level, can really use his hands to swat away rushers given a track record as an emerging boxing talent, and will go to the combine and run in the 4.8 range at around 320 pounds. The Colts have their QB, but while some might assume it's time to address defense, Andrew Luck was hit more than any QB in the NFL this season, and Indy must protect the future of the franchise. Watson's ceiling is deserving of this draft range."