This interesting trade idea brings offensive line depth to the Colts

Defensive end Ben Banogu (52) has been with the Indianapolis Colts for 2 seasons.Denver At Colts
Defensive end Ben Banogu (52) has been with the Indianapolis Colts for 2 seasons.Denver At Colts /

The Indianapolis Colts have a solid offensive line, but a possible trade could help the line get younger and prepare for the next edition.

The Indianapolis Colts have had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL but have recently had some major holes to fill. Anthony Castonzo retiring at the end of the 2020 season created a big hole at left tackle and made Indy think about the future at this position. They tried to create a left tackle by committee but that didn’t work well. This season saw them draft Bernhard Raimann in the third round. But is that enough?

Mike Clay, a fantasy football analyst for ESPN, recently tweeted an interesting trade idea between the Colts and the Chicago Bears sending Ben Banogu to the Windy City and Teven Jenkins to the Circle City. He also threw out an idea for a Bears/Houston Texans trade for Jenkins. Here is why this trade does and doesn’t make sense.

Why Colts should consider Teven Jenkins

This offseason saw Indy lose some veteran offensive linemen in Mark Glowinski, Sam Tevi, Chris Reed, Eric Fisher, and Julie’n Davenport. They didn’t bring in any big names to replace them electing to promote from within. Matt Pryor and Danny Pinter will now most likely have starting roles that open up at least two depth positions on the roster.

As mentioned before, Raimann will likely get one spot but will the incumbent Will Fries get the other, or will UDFAs like Ryan Van Demark or Alex Mollette fill a role? Instead of these options, Indianapolis could go after Jenkins, who almost went a week without practicing during training camp, a former second-round pick in 2021.

The Bears traded up to get Jenkins sending a second, third, and sixth pick to the Carolina Panthers for Jenkins and a sixth-round pick. There is a lot of speculation surrounding why Jenkins has been out of camp. Head Coach Matt Eberflus, former Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator, reiterates that it is a non-disclosed injury but many insiders say the opposite. Jenkins has only played in six games since joining the Bears starting two.

Since Chicago is actively shopping Jenkins why not take a chance on it? In this hypothetical trade, the Colts send Banogu to the Bears. Banogu seems to have fallen out of favor with Indy not seeing the field much the last two years. In his rookie season, 2019, he played in all 16 games. Then in 2020 and 2021, he played in nine. It’s hard to make an impact when you aren’t on the field, but even in 2019, playing all 16 games, Banogu had 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, 11 tackles, and five QB hits.

Then in 2020 he dipped significantly, only recording six tackles. That’s it. In 2021 he only posted two tackles and one QB hit. Banogu has an uphill battle as Indianapolis has brought in more depth on the defensive line in, more exciting, rookies and second-year players.

So do the Indianapolis Colts ship out an underperforming defensive end, where they have significant depth, and bring in a young offensive lineman where they have little depth? In this argument, you are simply swapping depth pieces and getting younger. The Colts can take a risk on Jenkins having given Banogu three years to prove something. The Bears would get rid of a player who doesn’t want to be there and add depth at a position where they recently lost a star player.

Why Colts should pass on Teven Jenkins

First off, we have to address the issue of a fantasy football analyst proposing a trade involving linemen. Most fantasy leagues leave out kickers and defense as they historically score insignificant points and don’t make a difference. Even most fantasy football analysts spend little time on defense and kickers let alone talking about offensive linemen who have no direct impact on fantasy football. Now, there can be an argument that they have an indirect impact on running back and quarterback fantasy production but that is a different article.

There are some red flags with this trade surrounding what exactly is going on with Jenkins. The league recently saw a highly-drafted offensive lineman struggle in Isaiah Wilson. The former first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans fell out of favor with several teams before being out of a job entirely. Could Jenkins be the next rookie to fall out of the league? Head Coach Eberflus is saying it’s an undisclosed injury but the insiders refute this statement. The facts are that as of Wednesday, Aug. 3rd Jenkins has been out of practice missing almost a week.

ESPN published an article on the situation and noted that when he practiced, on the first day of training camp, he filled in as an extra lineman in short-yardage and goal-line situations. These are the type of sets where you just need big bodies on the field not necessarily someone you look at starting. Although the old Bears front office envisioned Jenkins as a franchise left tackle he was been replaced by Braxton Jones who the new regime drafted in the fifth round of this past draft. Jenkins has simply fallen out of favor in Chicago but is it because of play or attitude?

The Indianapolis Colts may not be ready to give up on Banogu now that new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is at the helm. Banogu has only played under Eberflus and could be a great player but may have not fit his scheme. Chris Ballard drafted Banogu for his versatility and athleticism and that seems to be the type of player the team has brought in for this year’s defense. Also, if Banogu was on the outs with Eberflus here most likely he will be on the outs in Hallas Hall. This could also be Banogu’s prove-it year to the front office.

Although the Colts brought in Yannick Ngakoue they let several defensive ends go in free agency. How the depth chart sits now Banogu is behind Kwity Paye and Tyquan Lewis on the left but has the potential to beat out Dayo Odeyingbo for the second spot on the right. In this argument, it may not be worth the risk of sending away a player that could explode in a new scheme for a young player who may create locker room issues and force the team to drop them mid-season.