When legendary Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison walked onto the stage to announce the Colts first pick in the draft (which came at number 59 overall), the possibilities seemed endless for who they would select. Terrence Brooks would address a huge need at safety, and Louis Nix was a first-round talent still available at a crucial position in a 3-4 defense, nose tackle - and not to mention the number of options at wide receiver. The Colts seemed set up very well for the pick and fans all had different opinions of who they wanted the team to take. But no one said Jack Mewhort. Well, no one except Marvin Harrison, that is.
With their first pick in the draft, the Colts did select Jack Mewhort, an offensive lineman out of Ohio State. It's not that anybody really questioned Mewhort's talent as much as it was a lot of people questioning the value of the pick there for Ryan Grigson and the Colts' management. I was absolutely one of those people, but this article isn't going to be about that. If you want to see my thoughts on each pick, you can read them here. The fact of the matter is that Jack Mewhort was the Colts second round pick, and so we're going to look at who he is, the strengths and weaknesses he brings to the table, and how he'll help the Colts.
Mewhort was a three-year starter for the Ohio State Buckeyes, including starting during their record 24-game win streak between the 2012-13 seasons. He appeared in 49 career games, starting the final 39 in a row. He was named a team captain as well. He spent most of the past two seasons at tackle, but he has played both guard positions as well and even played some center in high school. That versatility is the biggest strength that he brings to the Colts and is one of the biggest areas that he will help the team at. Overall, his play is solid. That's honestly probably the best word to use to describe Mewhort, as he is very solid across the board in numerous areas, though he's not really a standout in any one of them. He's not going to be an All-Pro player, but he should be a dependable and solid option along the offensive line.
He's not the most athletic lineman, but what he lacks in that area he makes up for in size and strength. He's 6-6, 309 pounds and plays with great toughness. He has a tendency to play standing up too high which can limit his effectiveness at times, but he's a guy who is very competitive and who isn't afraid to play physical in the trenches, which is important.
Mewhort said that, "I'm here to play offensive line. I've played a lot of different positions through my years of football and that's what I intend to do here. I want to learn them all so that if there's ever a situation where they need me, I'll be ready for it." That said, Mewhort will start out on the interior of the line at guard, and he admitted that, "I think guard is a little bit easier for me and my abilities." While Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano love his versatility, Pagano also cautioned that he doesn't want to overload Mewhort right away so it's probably a good guess to think that Mewhort will start out learning the center and guard positions. That's where he'll help out right away. If he doesn't start, he'll provide good depth at the guard position (and really along the entire line). Unless the Colts move Donald Thomas to center (which I think is very unlikely), Thomas will be the starting left guard. That leaves Hugh Thornton, Jack Mewhort, Lance Louis, and Joe Reitz competing for the final starting spot. I think Thornton has the edge just because he started at guard last year, but then again he didn't play well and so his spot isn't guaranteed. That's a place that Mewhort could win, though I think it's probably the safest bet to think he'll start out as a backup with the ability to step in anywhere along the line if need be. Down the road, I think Mewhort projects as a solid right tackle and in a few years Gosder Cherilus' contract increases to a pretty significant number, and so I think Mewhort could eventually slide over to right tackle and be the replacement to Cherilus there. The NFL is all about what you can do right now, however, so Mewhort will start out playing guard and compete for a starting spot there while providing valuable versatility across the other positions.
Quick Summary: Jack Mewhort:
Weight: 309 pounds
Age: 22 years old
College: Ohio State
Drafted: Second round (59th overall)
Statistical Resume: 49 career games played (39 starts)
Contract: 4-years, $3,573,801 ($919,128 signing bonus); $649,782 million cap hit in 2014 (via spotrac)
Pros: Versatility allows him to play anywhere along the line; solid in all areas; good size and strength; plays tough
Cons: Not great in space; can play too high at times; not really a standout in any area