Colts: Is trading up for Oregon tackle Penei Sewell realistic?
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts have really ruffled the feathers of their fan base with their lack of urgency to make any semblance of a splash in free agency.
While there’s something to be said for “keeping your own” and promoting roster continuity, to be entirely against spending big on a potential game changer makes zero sense, which is why fans in Indy have been causing a stir on social media over the last few weeks.
Luckily for the Colts, however, they’ll have the perfect opportunity to redeem themselves in this month’s draft, which is less than three weeks away now. While it remains to be seen what their plans are for the first-round, the door might be open for them to trade up and solidify their left tackle conundrum.
If you look at the teams ahead of them in the draft pecking order, it’s feasible that Penei Sewell falls out of the top 10, which would be downright shocking given that most analysts and scouts view him as a future stud for the next decade.
Is trading up for Oregon OT Penei Sewell in the realm of possibility for the Colts?
The way we see it, if the Bengals don’t nab Sewell at fifth overall, it’s extremely possible that he falls several picks. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Cincinnati drafts either one of wide receiver J’Marr Chase or tight end Kyle Pitts.
That, in theory, would leave the Broncos, Cowboys, Giants and Chargers as teams who could potentially be in the market for an offensive tackle, meaning the Colts would have to trade up into the 9-14 range to ensure they get their hands on Sewell.
We understand Indy is reluctant when it comes to giving up draft compensation. How could they not be when you have a GM like Chris Ballard pulling the strings? However, if it meant selecting their left tackle of the future — especially one as highly-touted as Sewell — how could they possibly justify not pulling the trigger?
We suppose Ballard and Co. could be sold on another prospect. In fact, the latest draft buzz suggests they are head over heels for Oklahoma State product Teven Jenkins, who’s seen his stock take off (in a good way) after his mesmerizing pro day.
As enticing as picturing Jenkins in a Colts uniform sounds, however, you could argue whether drafting him at No. 21 overall would be a reach. After all, despite his mind-boggling pro day numbers, he isn’t a surefire bet to flourish at left tackle in the NFL.
For a GM who’s made a living off attaining incredible value with his picks (Darius Leonard and Braden Smith were both taken in the second round), that’s clearly not in Ballard’s best interest.
Taking that into account, if he and the Colts aren’t fully sold on Jenkins or another OT prospect, they should absolutely make a few calls and see how much it would cost to move up multiple picks to draft Sewell, as it’s very possible he falls below his current projection as a top-five pick.