When Colts general manger Ryan Grigson selected offensive lineman Jack Mewhort out of Ohio State with the team's second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft (their first choice in the draft that year), it was met by disdain by many fans and analysts alike. But as the season unfolded, a draft class that had initially been very underwhelming actually impressed, and while Jonathan Newsome and Donte Moncrief were big parts of that, no rookie had a bigger impact for the team last year than Mewhort.
Mewhort was a three-year starter along the offensive line for Ohio State, playing in 49 games overall and starting 39 in a row to end his tenure with the Buckeyes. He started 26 games at left tackle, five at left guard, and eight at right guard during his three years as a starter, and that versatility might pay off with the Colts as well. Last year, Mewhort was thrust into a starting role during training camp when Donald Thomas went down with another season-ending injury. Including the playoffs, Mewhort started 17 games (out of 19), 16 of which were at left guard and one of which was at right tackle. Whenever he was healthy, Mewhort was starting along the offensive line and proved to be one of the best linemen on the team in 2014. A legitimate case could be made that he was the second-best lineman for the Colts over the course of the entire season, behind only Anthony Castonzo. The left side of the line appears to be solidified, with Castonzo and Mewhort holding it down. But perhaps that versatility will be on display in 2015.
Jack Mewhort will be starting somewhere along the offensive line for the Colts when they open up the 2015 regular season, and barring an injury to Castonzo, we know it won't be at left tackle. We can rule out the center position as well, as Khaled Holmes and Jonotthan Harrison are battling for that spot. And while he can play right guard, if the Colts are going to keep him at guard it makes a ton of sense to leave him on the left side, particularly with Todd Herremans signed in free agency as the projected right guard. The question with Mewhort is whether he will stay at left guard or move to right tackle, and this offseason, signs pointed toward him moving to tackle. With Gosder Cherilus missing offseason work and with big questions about his health, Mewhort worked exclusively at right tackle and received the bulk of the first-team reps. Joe Reitz (who started the three playoff games at right tackle) might factor into the discussion as well, but it appears as if the Colts are preparing to move Mewhort to right tackle. This all depends on Cherilus' health, of course, but the signs this offseason (granted, with Cherilus still recovering) pointed toward Mewhort making a move. We likely won't know for sure where the second-year offensive lineman will be starting this year, but whether at left guard or at right tackle, it will be exciting to watch his continued development and he should have another solid season.