It's pretty clear that offensive line is the one area that the Colts very much need to improve heading into the 2010 NFL Draft, and while Bill Polian has rather frankly stated in the past that drafting o-line is not his strengths, the big red one needs to spend a little extra time watching lineman in the film room. The Colts absolutely must come out of the 2010 Draft with some quality o-line players for the present and future. If not, this team will struggle.
Fortunately, it seems the 2010 Draft is a very o-line friendly draft.
The competition at [Trent Williams'] position, offensive tackle, is particularly strong this season.
And that may be particularly true at the top of the draft.
Williams (6-feet-6, 315 pounds) is widely projected as a first-round selection in the April 22-24, 2010 NFL Draft, and he is one of at least six tackles projected to potentially be among the first 32 players selected. Others include Russell Okung of Oklahoma State, Bruce Campbell of Maryland, junior Bryan Bulaga of Iowa, junior Anthony Davis of Rutgers and Charles Brown of Southern Cal.
It is considered by some one of the deepest offensive tackle positions in several seasons.
"Every draft takes on an identity," San Francisco 49ers General Manager Scot McCloughan said. "I’m not saying this is a real deep year on the offensive line but there are good football players out there. The one thing about the offensive line nowadays is the game’s changed a lot in college with the spread offense. The big power guys, the guys that come off (the line) and drive block and all that – you don’t see that anymore in college."
I'm not sure how deep the offensive line talent goes, but our own draft master Mocking Dan has 11 offensive linemen (including seven tackles) listed in his top 100 players.
The player we seem to see the Colts connected to is USC left tackle Charlie Brown, but with his Combine measurements (he bulked up to 303 pounds) and his close connection to former-USC coach and current Seattle Seahawks overlord Pete Carroll, it's possible Brown will be long gone at pick #31.
Again, the Colts absolutely must come out of this draft with someone who could be a starting tackle or guard next year. I know Polian thinks that Tony Ugoh and Mike Pollak will contribute next year, but that means nothing. Ugoh's days are likely numbered in Indy, and Pollak is so bad he lost his job to a guy (Kyle DeVan) who was playing Arena II football in 2008. They are not starters. Polian needs to kind starters in the 2010 Draft, or things will get very dicey very quickly for Peyton Manning and the offense.