Defending Crazy: Why I don’t want the Colts to draft OL early

If you’ve read me consistently, followed me on Twitter and listened to the CA Radio podcasts for the last seven months, you probably know that my opinion of the Colts offensive line is pretty low. Heck, you probably only need to have read one article, read a few tweets or listened to one show to know that. If I had a nickel for every time I mocked the Colts interior line, well, I probably wouldn’t be blogging.

Rich people don’t blog. They buy people to do that for them. You really think that Mark Cuban writes this?  At best he has a secretary take down his angry mutterings and then pays another person to transform those into a semi-coherent blog post.

But I digress.

The point is, I don’t like the Colts offensive line. The interior is a mess, and it’s one of the biggest things holding the Colts back, especially because of their (less-than-ideal) philosophy based on running the ball and being flexible in different offensive sets.

Yet, despite the fact that I have such a low opinion of said line, as do most Colts fans, I do not think that the Colts should spend a high draft pick on a lineman. In fact, I’ve largely ignored the offensive line completely when looking at draft needs and potential draft targets.

If I think the offensive line was such a problem in 2013, then why wouldn’t I support spending an early draft pick on one? There’s disconnect there. It seems crazy.

But I have a reason. I promise.

First, let’s take a step back and remember who’s actually going to be on the roster next year. For most of 2013, the Colts’ interior offensive line consisted the following players: Samson Satele, Mike McGlynn, Jeff Linkenbach, Joe Reitz and Hugh Thomas. Of those players, I’d argue that only Reitz played passably, and a concussion and stubborn coaching kept him from being on the field too often.

But, let’s look at the players projected for 2014.

Currently, the starting lineup would include Donald Thomas, Samson Satele and Hugh Thornton.

Now, while the Satele desperately needs to be replaced, the other two don’t look so bad. Thomas has played well when healthy in the past, and while the Colts do need some solid depth behind him, they don’t need to pick up a second starting-caliber player to sit behind him. Thornton didn’t look good as a rookie, but he did get better as the year went along, and Colts Authority OL guru Ben Gundy thinks he has a lot of potential.

After spending a third-round pick on Thornton last season, you want to give him his chance at the starting spot. I’d certainly sign some depth that can push him in the offseason, but that’s about it.

So it comes down to center. The Colts desperately need one to replace Samson Satele. Could they go to the draft for that? I suppose, but they did spend a fourth-round pick on Khaled Holmes last season, do you see them spending a second or third-rounder in 2014? No, I’d rather see them try to develop Holmes behind a solid veteran center, something that can be had in the offseason.

Basically, it all comes down to needs, and how the Colts can best fill them. Offensive line is definitely a need for the Colts, but they already have their two tackles taken care of, their starting left guard taken care of and their *potential* starting right guard on the roster. They need a center, but really that’s it.

Personally, I see other positions in much more dire need of an infusion of starting-caliber youthful talent, such as inside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, cornerback, etc. The Colts need to get better depth along the offensive line for when injuries occur, but I’m not shooting for depth with my second and third round picks. I’m hoping to get potential starting pieces.

I wouldn’t necessarily EXPECT that from my second and third-round picks, but that would be the goal. Depth can be had later. 

So, will I be upset if the Colts draft a lineman in the early rounds. At the moment, probably. I'll probably rant and rave on Twitter and drown my sorrows in mint Oreos and YouTube clips of bad comedians. But once I calm down and take a step back, I'll be ok with it. The Colts are so dereft of talent across the board that going BPA will pay off in the long run. If an offensive lineman is a steal at that spot, it probably would work out for the best. 

I'm just saying I'd prefer it if there was an inside linebacker or wide receiver who was a steal. 


Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.