As the 2023 NFL season approaches, there’s a belief that the offensive line for the Indianapolis Colts will be much better than it was last season.
Last season, watching the Indianapolis Colts on offense was like playing a game of Jenga: you knew everything was going to eventually collapse and it wasn’t going to take long. The reason why was Indy’s offensive line. The unit uncharacteristically struggled to run block, and they were even worse than expected in pass protection.
Everyone on the line played well below expectations, including perennial Pro-Bowl guard Quenton Nelson. The Colts allowed 60 sacks, the second-most last season, and they also held back all of the quarterbacks that were put under center last season. As bad as things were, Indianapolis has pretty much decided to just run it back.
While the Colts have made some significant changes like hiring Shane Steichen as head coach and drafting Anthony Richardson to be quarterback, the offensive line is expected to be the same. Bernhard Raimann at left tackle, Quenton Nelson, at left guard, Ryan Kelly at center, and Braden Smith at right tackle. The right guard spot is open, and all positions can be reassigned in training camp, but for now, the line is projected to have four of the same starters.
Despite that being the case, there’s a sense of optimism surrounding Indy’s offensive line. Earlier in the offseason, PFF said the Colts had one of the top offensive tackle duos, ranking both tackles inside the top 32 best tackles in the league. Now, PFF is dishing out even more praise to Indy’s offensive line, ranking them as a top 10 unit.
Sam Monson recently ranked all 32 offensive lines in the league, and the Colts were ranked at No. 10. That’s an eight-spot improvement from PFF’s final offensive line rankings of the 2022 season.
Colts ranked as 10th-best offensive line in NFL by PFF
Monson was honest that “This ranking assumes a significant bounce back to their previous baseline of play,” before going on to highlight how Quenton Nelson returning to normal should lead the charge for an improved Colts offensive line.
That’s certainly what everyone who wants to see Indianapolis excel is hoping happens. The production of the offense, and success of the team as a whole, pretty much hinges on whether or not the line will bounce back. If Indy is going to be competitive next season, it all starts with the offensive line.