Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Denzelle Good appears to be the frontrunner for the starting right guard job despite what the team’s recently released depth chart depicts:
While the Colts first depth chart of training camp has holdover Hugh Thornton as the 1st-team’s starter, the Horseshoe’s actions at training camp actually indicate that Good may be the early favorite to assume the starting right guard job–given that he’s received the majority of the starters’ reps.
The 2nd-year pro out of little known Mars Hill showed initial promise, making 4 starts in relief at right tackle during the wake of Anthony Castonzo‘s injury this past season, but has limited experience at guard on the professional level.
However, Good insists that the transition to right guard hasn’t been too troublesome for the young offensive lineman:
"“Yeah, wherever the coach wants me at, I’m going to play,” Good said Tuesday on the Grady and Big Joe Show on 1070 The Fan. “I told them that last year I thought I was going to be playing guard, but it didn’t matter.”“Oh yeah, there’s definitely a transition. At tackle, you’ve got to be a little more patient, everything’s a little drawn out as far as the pass rush, but everything at guard is just right there in your face. You’ve got to firm up the pocket, so everything is a lot quicker.”"
If the competition is close between Thornton and Good, it makes sense that the Colts could opt to go with the latter both now and for the long-term.
At a listed 6’5″, 355 pounds, Good has immense size that simply can’t be taught and the type of brute force and strength at the position to be a difference-maker in the interior of the Colts offensive line:
"“He blocked people in ways that you don’t typically see a rookie, let alone anyone, block—in terms of finishing, raw power and athleticism,” said general manager Ryan Grigson on Good earlier this offseason. “I got to play with him a little bit last year and I’ve never double teamed anybody like that in my life,” said Hugh Thornton of playing alongside Good last season."
The term “dancing bear” gets thrown around a lot, but Good has the quick feet to pair with his obvious size and strength to excel at either right guard or tackle.
While he remains a bit of a developmental project with limited experience and coming from a smaller college against inferior competition, Good could eventually develop into a Leonard Davis (6’6″, 355 lbs.) or Shawn Andrews (6’4″, 340 lbs.) type force for the Colts at right guard given his sheer size and strength–both of whom were All-Pro’s and 3x Pro Bowlers respectively.
The small school sleeper insists though that despite the increasingly meaningful reps he’s been receiving with the Colts in recent training camp practices, he’s not taking any of this for granted:
"“Coming where I came from, I’m just looking to take advantage of every opportunity that I get,” said Good."
The way things are currently going, it wouldn’t be surprising if that latest opportunity for Good is becoming the Colts starting right guard for their preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday as part of Hall of Fame weekend.