SB Nation does not have a picture of Joe so link HERE to see a photo.
Depth is critical in this league. Especially down in the trenches. We saw last year how much shuffling needs to go on when starters go out. We've seen some depth added so far this off-season with Winston Justice and Mike McGlynn joining Blue Nation. With a new QB and offensive scheme, protection could be even more important this season. One potential candidate to join the mix is Joe Looney from Wake Forest.
While at Wake Forest, Looney started for all of his senior year and 40 times during his career, most of any Wake Forest player last year. He was an offensive captain for most of his senior year and was named to the All-ACC 2nd team. How big he is was always a question. His Wake Forest weight fluctuated from 300 to 320 throughout the program book and game sheets. The comment I see most regularly is about the strong character that he carried with him throughout his Demon Deacon career.
Looney would be considered big by the standards set by the previous Colts regime, but he falls right in line with the rest of the league as far as size goes. He is known for his run blocking and has the quickness to pull and move along the line. His mirror ability is a plus for him, which is something you don't often see with interior linemen.
Where Joe falls short is in some his pass block sets. He can let his pads get a little high which allows him to get beat from time to time. He also has some hip flexibility and, therefore, balance issues that need to be corrected. He did suffer an ankle injury late in the year that kept him out of all combine work except the bench press. The fact that he showed improvement throughout his time at Wake Forest, especially in his senior season, gets me excited.
After the jump we'll look at what the draft sites say as well as his combine numbers and my thoughts. Don't forget to check out all the potential picks on our 2012 Draft Profiles Page.
A thick, stout guard prospect with a shorter set of arms with a lot of additional girth through the midsection. However, he's quick off the snap, gets off the ball well in the pass game and has the initial first step to reach defenders trying to shoot gaps off his frame. Exhibits good short area quickness and balance for his size in pass protection. He has the ability to mature into a good run blocker as well and warrants a pick as a potential starting guard down the line.
Big, short-armed, run-blocking right guard who showed improvement as a senior. Is praised for his character, toughness and vocal leadership and also could warrant looks in the middle. Versatility is a plus.
Looney is a strong interior lineman from Wake Forest who has been consistent for the Demon Deacons since stepping on campus. He is an athletic mover who blocks well in the run game and has great size. He has fourth-round value based on his production and ability to be inserted right away.
My Take for the Colts - I have seen Looney projected all over the board. From round 4 to UDFA that can be picked up. If he can be had for late I think he is a good prospect that could develop. I like that he is a high character guy who continued to improve even when he had the starting job locked up. I personally would not target him until very late the third day and hope that he could be a late round steal.
One a side note, I hope the Colts continue to draft high character guys even with the regime change. That's always been one of the things that made me proud to be a fan of our team. I hope Grigson and Pagano keep that mantra intact.