Signing Anthony Castonzo to an extension is big news for the Indianapolis Colts, and makes a big difference for the 2020 NFL Draft.
There was a lot up in the air after the 2019 season, where left tackle Anthony Castonzo considered retiring rather than signing an extension with the Indianapolis Colts. During combine week, it sounded like Castonzo would return and that negotiations were underway.
Just hours after the new CBA was signed, Castonzo signed a two year, $33 million extension with the Colts, securing his place as their left tackle for 2020 and 2021.
This makes a huge difference when shifting over to the 2020 NFL Draft, where Chris Ballard and company can narrow their focus a bit. The uncertainty regarding Castonzo, more recently the uncertainty of the length of his deal, led many Colts and draft analysts to project a tackle coming off the board to Indy in one of the first four rounds. Even here at Horseshoe Heroes, we projected a developmental tackle, Ben Bartch (St. John’s), to go to Indy in our latest mock.
Now, the odds that Ballard will select a tackle early in the draft is lowered. Castonzo is set on the left side until 2022, and Braden Smith has been excellent on the right side, meaning he will get an extension in the future.
Quarterback will likely be addressed early in the draft, and the Colts also need help at wide receiver and along the defensive line, more specifically at the 3-technique (defensive tackle). Don’t forget about the tight end position and bolstering the edge rush. Free agency has barely begun, but it’s likely their bigger needs get addressed during the draft.
So, does that mean that the Colts won’t select a tackle in the draft? Well, there’s no guarantee. We often talk about how free agency is set up to address needs, and the draft is about getting great value. So, if a good value appears in front of them at tackle, could Ballard pull the trigger? It’s entirely possible. However, in a class that looks to have good value at wide receiver and defensive tackle, it seems unlikely we see it happen early on.