Ranking the projected available left tackle options for the Indianapolis Colts to select with their first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
In 2021, Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts chose to pursue a veteran at left tackle to replace the legendary Anthony Castonzo instead of drafting a franchise-caliber starter last spring. Eric Fisher, a former No. 1 overall selectee for the Chiefs was that man— until he wasn’t.
This year, the Colts could look to change their band-aid philosophy on positions of need via the NFL Draft. One of the most valuable positions in football is offensive tackle, more importantly, left tackle.
Finding the team’s future franchise blind-side protector is a task in itself; the odds of landing the right guy in the second round make it all the more difficult.
Recently, some have suggested sliding the four-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson over a spot to fill the need but that doesn’t seem to be ideal. The other option was having the underrated stud of a right tackle, Braden Smith, flip sides. The risks of losing these guys at their current positions outweigh the benefits, however.
Due to Eric Fisher departing in free agency after a struggling season, Indy is left with a major question mark and a bit of inexperience at the position. But replacing a guy that allowed seven sacks and a 68.2 overall grade according to Pro Football Focus isn’t too big of an ask.
Matt Pryor, whom the Colts acquired from Philadelphia last August, appeared in 17 games with five starts. He posted a 76.5 overall grade allowing just eight pressures and zero sacks as the 25th-best graded tackle per PFF.
He was re-signed earlier this offseason and will be given the “first shot” to compete as the team’s left tackle, according to Chris Ballard, who made that claim on ‘The Pat McAfee Show.’ Ballard pointed to Pryor’s performance in the Raiders game as the reason for the team’s belief.
Theoretically, Pryor has earned his keep and is in place to secure his spot as a starter on one of the stoutest offensive lines in the NFL. But with a draft class as talented as this one, it won’t hurt to add talent for competition. Missing out on the surefire first-rounders isn’t all that bad because the expected options at 42 are promising as well.