Even though the Colts obviously need a quarterback for this upcoming season, it shouldn’t be their biggest priority.
It seems like the quarterback questions have been swirling non-stop around the Indianapolis Colts for the last three years. Ever since Andrew Luck abruptly retired, the Colts’ QB vacancy has been among the biggest talking points in the NFL. It makes sense since it’s the most important position on the field.
Now with Philip Rivers retiring, the Colts once again need a new quarterback. They don’t have any obvious options right now, although it seems they will likely pursue a trade. But we’re here to tell you that quarterback isn’t Indy’s biggest need this offseason. The left tackle position is.
Anthony Castonzo also retired at the end of the year. This isn’t surprising considering he was thinking about doing the same thing at the end of 2019. Now that he’s officially gone, though, Indianapolis doesn’t have any obvious replacements to step in.
Despite knowing Castonzo was on the brink of retirement a year ago, general manager Chris Ballard did nothing to address the likely impending need. The only offensive lineman he drafted was guard Danny Pinter in the sixth round. The Colts don’t have anyone on the roster who is capable of playing that position right now.
There have been talks of moving Quenton Nelson over to left tackle and then possibly inserting Pinter at that left guard spot. But that seems like a bad idea. Nelson has never played tackle on a consistent basis, only stepping in for a game or two when Castonzo was hurt. Plus, he’s a three-time All-Pro at guard. Why even think about moving him?
Unless a big stud like Justin Fields or Zach Wilson falls to 21 in the NFL Draft, the Colts should go after a left tackle. Whomever is going to be the next QB needs to have his blindside protected. At the very least, the Colts at least have Jacob Eason, who they like, at quarterback right now. They have no one they prefer at left tackle.
Plus, it’s unlikely Ballard goes out and spends big on one of the free-agent linemen. The top two guys in free agency are Trent Williams and Russell Okung, both of whom are 33 years old. It would be surprising to see the Colts buck Ballard’s previous trends of signing free agents to big contracts, save DeForest Buckner.
Quarterback certainly shouldn’t be neglected by the team. But if they don’t address that hole at left tackle, both the passing and the running game will suffer dearly because of it, regardless of how the offense performed down the stretch without Castonzo.