Comparing Colts to Combine: Top Tackles


In the latest edition of our “Comparing Colts to Combine” series, we’ll take a look at some of the top offensive tackle prospects in this year’s NFL Draft Combine and how they compare to the Indianapolis Colts bookends at tackle. Previously we took a look at the tight end position, but now, we’ll shift our focus to another position group that performed on Friday at the combine in the offensive tackles.

Specifically, we’ll focus on 3 of the best offensive tackle prospects in this year’s draft class in Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings, Stanford’s Andrus Peat, and LSU’s La’El Collins. We’ll compare them to the past combine measurables of the Colts two starting offensive tackles in left tackle Anthony Castonzo and right tackle Gosder Cherilus respectively. Like Castonzo and Cherilus, each is projected to be a 1st round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Of course, this is purely “just for fun“; however, it helps put their numbers in proper perspective, as otherwise numbers are just numbers if not placed in the appropriate context:

Earlier, we noted that physically, Stanford offensive tackle prospect Andrus Peat is a clone to Anthony Castonzo in a lot of ways. That certainly bodes well for his football future, as Castonzo has become one of the better starting left tackles in football since being drafted by the Colts in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Stanford Cardinal offensive linemen Andrus Peat runs the 40 yard dash during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at Castonzo’s other measurables though, and he was clearly an interesting case. He has the slowest clocked forty-time of this group at 5.23, which is indicative of straight-line speed, but also has the fastest 3-cone drill time at 7.25, which tests an athlete’s ability to change directions at a high speed.

Scouts typically want offensive tackles to be “dancing bears“, and the 3-cone drill may be a more important measurement than a forty-time for this position, as it tests an offensive tackle’s ability to change speeds and theoretically pick up pass rushers in protection.

Cherilus followed Castonzo with the 2nd fastest 3-cone time of this group and posted solid measurables across the board, but nothing else that really “jumps off the board” in this talented group of tackles.

Just glancing over the measurements, and it’s clear T.J. Clemmings is arguably the best athlete in this year’s offensive tackle class. The former converted Panthers defensive lineman had the best vertical jump at 32.5 inches, broad jump at 110 inches, and clocked in a pretty good forty-yard dash and 3-cone time.

While Clemmings and Peat are supposed to be long off the board by the time the Colts select with their 1st round pick at #29 overall, La’El Collins could very well still be there. The talented LSU tackle posted some pretty good measurements, including the fastest forty-time at 5.12 among this group. He’s been projected to be selected by the Colts in many NFL experts mock drafts, and could initially kick-in as a starting guard.

Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; LSU Tigers offensive linemen La’el Collins goes through a blocking drill during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports