Colts: Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman is against Quenton Nelson moving to LT

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 09: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 09: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts are searching high and low for a replacement for left tackle Anthony Castonzo, and they seem to believe that they have a strong internal candidate to fill his role in All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson.

At the very least, the idea has been floated around.

Nelson, who was acquired after the Sam Darnold trade, has exceeded all expectations. He’s been a First-Team All-Pro for each of his first three seasons in the NFL.

Despite all of that, Indy could look to move Nelson to tackle and sign a cheaper guard, which would be an economical way to improve the offensive line.

Chris Hinton, who is one of the best offensive linemen in Colts history, has already lived Nelson’s journey, as the No. 4 overall pick was moved from guard to tackle early in his career. He’s not a fan of Nelson making the same move.

Hinton, who came to the Colts as a byproduct of the John Elway trade, is OK with the move if Nelson does it on his own accord to help the team. However, Hinton also said if he could go back in time, he wouldn’t have moved from guard to tackle, and he doesn’t want the same fate for Nelson.

“There is some parallel of having some immediate success at guard and being moved to tackle,” Hinton said. “But for selfish reasons, if I was in his shoes I’d fight it. I really would.’’

Chris Hinton wants Quenton Nelson to stay at guard for the Colts.

The Colts could potentially look at some free agent tackles, but they could burn the No. 21 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a young stud to fill Castonzo’s shoes.

While the move certainly paid off for Hinton, as he made six Pro Bowls as a tackle, he seems to believe his career would’ve been even better if he stuck at a position that would’ve allowed his trademark power to really flourish.

Moving from guard to tackle, especially after a few years in the league, is an extremely difficult transition to make. Furthermore, Indy could find a tackle as good as, or better than, Castonzo in free agency, but they won’t find a guard anywhere close to Nelson’s level.

It could be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Nelson is the unquestioned best player in the league at his position, and moving him to tackle not only creates an impossible hole to fill, but it puts Nelson in a spot where he has to learn a new position right before his set to earn a new contract.