After passing on several offensive line prospects yesterday, the Colts finally decided to pick someone who will block for them, and the player they chose was Jacques McClendon, OG, Tennessee.
Like the Kevin Thomas pick in the third round, not much written up about McClendon. What we do have comes from National Football Post, and it isn't all that encouraging:
McClendon isn't a gifted athlete when asked to get out in space. He looks heavy-footed on the move and struggles to reach/seal defenders in space. He isn't effective on slide-down blocks and lacks the type of body control to stay on his man through the play. But he showcases above-average power as an inline run blocker and exhibits the lower body strength to create off the snap. He lacks ideal fluidity when asked to pass protect on an island, doesn't get off the ball quickly and struggles to mirror in space. He's at his best in a phone booth where he does a nice job keeping his base down, playing with natural leverage on contact and generating good power on his punch.
So, we aren't talking about a lineman who can run out on the sweep or stretch play. McClendon seems to fit the trend the Colts are following in that he is one big friggin' dude. At 6'3, 324 pounds, he dwarfs former Colts guard Ryan Lilja. Hell, he seems to dwarf a mammoth. The Steelers seemed to have some interest in him prior to the draft, which indicates he is more of a small space, power blocker. Maybe he helps on short yardage.
A positive is he seemed to have a great Pro Day, as Joe "shake n bake" Baker told us a little while ago.
With all my ranting and raving yesterday about not taking a lineman, I guess I can't get to upset with this pick. At least it's another lineman. It isn't a tackle, which is still a need that is quickly transforming into a massive black hole of suck. Unless someone like Kyle Calloway falls to pick #162, it seems like Polian will be unable to bring in anyone of value to take the starting left tackle spot from Charlie Johnson.
Welcome to the Colts, Jacques McClendon!