The Colts have one of the best starting offensive lines in the NFL. But if one of their men go down, they could be in trouble.
NFL games are won in the trenches. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage usually ends up winning the game. This is why Chris Ballard has put such a premium on building such a good offensive line. He has built perhaps one of the best starting groups in the entire league.
Anthony Castonzo, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, and Braden Smith are the most cohesive group of offensive linemen in the NFL. They started every single game together last season. They were able to stay remarkably healthy and that immensely helped their running game.
These guys are the best in the business. The guys behind them? Not so much. There is no depth behind the starters to speak of. Joe Haeg is no longer with the team and he was the most valuable backup lineman the team had. Le’Raven Clark is the only lineman on the roster who has any experience playing in games.
Anyone who reads my writing knows how I feel about Clark. He isn’t someone who can be counted on to play any significant snaps. The problem is, the team didn’t really do anything to address this issue in the offseason. They didn’t sign a single offensive lineman in the offseason.
The only lineman they added at all was fifth-round pick Danny Pinter, a guard out of Ball State who has only been on the offensive line for two years. Pinter could eventually turn out to be a solid backup, but he certainly wouldn’t be ready if called upon this year.
Javon Patterson, a seventh-round pick last year, should be fully healthy this year. The Colts do like his potential and at least can help if Kelly goes down. But they don’t have any veterans who can be counted on.
A good way to fix this would be signing someone like Larry Warford. Warford is a veteran who good enough to start. He would be an excellent backup if someone were to go down. He would likely be cheap too on a one-year deal.
At this point, it still doesn’t seem likely that the Colts will sign anyone to help this issue. This is probably something that will have to wait until next offseason. They just have to hope it doesn’t come back to bite him.