Mandatory Credit: Spruce DerdenUSA TODAY Sports
The Indianapolis Colts had a good season last year. In the midst of many injuries at different positions to prominent play makers, they made it to the playoffs and staged one of the greatest comeback wins of all time. When a team succeeds in the midst of adversity it’s not always easy to see their shortcomings. The truth is that the Colts have gaps in their roster that need to be filled.
The Colts have made some significant moves with free agents but the draft is just around the corner. When May 8th is here, football fans from all over the country will be watching their televisions to see what great star their team is picking up. What future hall of famer will they find? The draft bring the sense of hope, especially to fans of teams who didn’t finish strong last season.
Colts fans will have to wait until May 9th to feel that hope for their team. Along with the Washington Redskins the Colts won’t have a pick until the second round. As I’ve mentioned before, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to look forward to or that there will be no great picks by the Colts. One of the needs that they’ve had so far is at cornerback, but there are other needs that the Colts have as well.
One of those other needs is at offensive guard. This is not a new need. the Colts needed a good line to protect Andrew Luck so they brought in guys like Samson Satele and Donald Thomas. Satele ended up getting dropped for not producing like the Colts needed at center. Donald Thomas brought that veteran presence, but ended up getting injured and only played in two games last season. That left the job up to guys like rookie Hugh Thorton. There is a lack of experience and depth at guard on the Colts roster right now. There’s no lack of size. The shortest guard on roster is 6’3″ and the average weight is over 320 lbs.
It would be good for the Colts to keep their eye out for any good guards that are still on the board when one of their picks comes up. There are several good guards in this draft so it shouldn’t be hard to find one even in the later rounds.
The best guard that they’ll probably have a chance of drafting would be Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State. Jackson is 6’3″ and 336 lbs. That would put him at about the same size as Hugh Thorton. Jackson is listed as the third best guard in this draft but he’s the best who’s not an underclassman. He’s also coming out of the highly competitive SEC.
Experience goes a long way when it comes to transitioning to the NFL. The fact that he has more game-time experience than the others ranked higher than him helps. He also has the most size. He’s not the tallest but he is the biggest. That helps as well. It will make him an easier fit into the Colts scheme of bigger is better.
Gabe Jacksons skills are balanced well between protecting the passing game and opening up the running game. The Colts need someone who can do both. Protecting Andrew Luck is obviously their number one priority. Fans saw the result of not being able to open up the running game last season. Trent Richardson could never get started because he rarely had holes opening up. No Colts running back ran for 100 yards in a single game all season. That’s a reflection of a poor offensive line. Jackson could help open that game up for the Colts.
There are more picks to predict and more players to look at but for now spend some time looking at film on Gabe Jackson.