Breaking down the top 5 Colts players of 2023 according to PFF

A few veterans, a young offensive lineman, and an impending free agent were all given impressive grades by PFF this year

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Braden Smith (RT) — 83.3

Six-year NFL veteran Braden Smith has been a reliable contributor on the Colts’ offensive line ever since he was drafted. In 2023, whenever he was healthy, Smith continued his excellent play and PFF certainly recognized that. With an overall grade of 83.3, Smith was PFF’s highest-rated Colts player on offense. That’s quite the achievement given Indianapolis has multiple former Pro Bowlers and All-Pros on that side of the ball.

Smith’s biggest strength was his run blocking which earned an elite 90.1 grade. He posted a 78% run block win rate, which was eighth-best out of all offensive tackles in the league. The former Auburn Tiger only got a 71.0 pass blocking grade from PFF but that doesn’t tell the full story. Smith had a top-20 pass block win rate among tackles and didn’t allow a single sack all season.

Unfortunately, Smith’s only glaring weakness in 2021 was his availability. Due to various foot, wrist, hip, and knee injuries, Smith missed seven games this season. Rookie Blake Freeland struggled in Smith’s absence, giving up four sacks and receiving a poor 44.2 PFF grade. While Smith is fantastic when he’s actually on the field, the Colts will hope he can play more than 575 total snaps next year.