If you've taken a look at mock drafts over the past few months, you've likely seen people projecting the Colts to draft a tackle in the first round. Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin seems to be the most common pick, while Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker is another common pick.
In an interview with 1070 the Fan's Dan Dakich today, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson confirmed that this year's offensive line draft class is a very good and deep group, particularly at the tackle position. There are several tackles that Grigson likes this year, so we can't rule out the Colts adding a player at the position.
At the same time, however, we can't forget about Denzelle Good and how he might factor into the mix, either, because Grigson seems to really like him.
"I don't see how he doesn't [have a future in the NFL]," Grigson told Dakich. "I don't see how he doesn't. I mean, I've got players in the locker room that show me video of him in certain games. There's guys on our team that are excited about him. We're looking at a lot of the tackles that are in this draft and then you look at Denzelle's measurables and some of the things that he did on film. For a guy that came from Mars Hill and didn't have an offseason in the NFL yet, you kind of take that and you put that up against some of these guys coming out in the draft, high picks even, and Denzelle Good has 35 and a half inch arms, he's 355 pounds, and he can move. He's 6-5 and a half, too.
"The thing I think that really shrunk his learning curve down for a guy from a small school, was a high Wonderlic score. Really high. And that was something that really stuck out to us. No other team in the league worked him out except us. We're the only team that even worked him out for the draft. Probably didn't even have to draft him, but we did just to make sure we had the guy. I would say maybe awareness [is the thing that could hold him back], but you gain awareness through playing. But I think he's got a great chance, guard or tackle."
Grigson isn't the only one who likes Good, as Colts owner Jim Irsay has made it a point to say how much he likes the young offensive tackle as well. Head coach Chuck Pagano mentioned Good along with guys like Anthony Castonzo, Jack Mewhort, and Joe Reitz at his press conference yesterday, saying that Good "has got a bright future." It's clear, then, that the Colts' brass are all excited about the potential of the soon-to-be 25-year old lineman.
There are signs all over the place that show just how much the Colts like Good. Grigson admitted they probably didn't even need to draft him since no other team even worked him out, but the Colts liked him enough they weren't taking any chances, drafting him in the seventh round out of Mars Hill. Furthermore, the very fact that a seventh round rookie made the roster out of training camp and remained on the 53-man roster for the rest of the season is a remarkable statement in itself, as the Colts didn't even move him down to the practice squad once. Then, when Castonzo went down and Joe Reitz moved to left tackle, it was Denzelle Good who stepped in at right tackle, starting four games at the position in 2015. This offseason, the Colts brass is all talking about how Good could factor into the plans moving forward.
What does it mean? At this point, not much. It's clear that Denzelle Good will be a major competitor for the right tackle spot, but it doesn't mean the Colts won't add a tackle in the draft if they love the player available. What it does mean, however, is that we'd be foolish to forget about him - because it's clear the Colts haven't at all and have high hopes for the lineman.