May. 14, 2020
Indianapolis Colts 53-Man Roster Prediction: Offensive Line
Yesterday I looked at the quarterback situation the Colts are looking at with three of them making the 53-man roster as of right now. I will stay on the offensive side of the ball but move on to the offensive line. I am a big believer in the offensive line for any team, a good offensive line can make an average quarterback look better than what they are. Luckily, the Colts have one of the best offensive lines in football after making a complete 180 from where they stood 3-5 years ago.
Safe: Castonzo, Nelson, Kelly, Glowinski, Smith, Clark, Pinter, Patterson, Eldrenkamp
Fighting: Green, Vornkhal, O’Donnell, Lang, Donnal, Hitner
I will not waste your time and say why all five starters from last year will make the roster as the line ranked third-overall in the league according to Pro Football Focus as all five played over 1,000 snaps last year. Getting Castonzo back on a two-year deal was an offseason must this year. Quenton Nelson is the best guard in the league and has been a first-team all-pro every year in the NFL. Ryan Kelly is going to get a contract extension sometime soon. Braden Smith is one of the best right tackles in the league and no one talks about him. Mark Glowinski is the weak link, but he still graded well according to PFF. The line is a big reason why Philip Rivers came here, and the running game has been very effective the last two years.
As for the reserves, Le’Raven Clark is back on a one-year deal and the Colts not drafting a tackle in last month’s draft pretty much ensures Clark makes the roster as one of the few players that remains from the Grigson era. Danny Pinter is probably the third-day draft pick I like the most to make the roster. Chris Ballard talked about the Ball State product playing inside at guard or even center, highlighting Pinter’s versatility giving him a spot on the active roster. Javon Patterson missed all of last season with a torn ACL, the seventh-round pick gives the interior of the line depth at center where Ryan Kelly has had a history of concussions. The final reserve to make it is Jake Eldrenkamp, a practice squad legend. Cut and signed three times by the Rams, signed and cut by the Browns, signed and waived by New England, and brought to Indianapolis where he made an active roster at age 26.
Line depth is big in the NFL, you want 8-10 guys that you can believe can start to feel good about your unit and the Colts have to feel good about where they are at.
As for the guys who did not make it, the guy I am interested in the most would be Carter O’Donnell. O’Donnell was a third-round pick of the Montreal Alouettes after four years at the University of Alberta up in Canada. At 6-5 and over 300 pounds, O’Donnell would be a practice squad guy if he clears waivers. Given his size, he could move to the inside if someone were to get injured but given the depth at tackle, he could see time there as well. One injury to Smith or Castonzo puts Le’Raven Clark in the starting lineup with no one behind him.