Clark started 51 games at Texas Tech, playing his first year at right tackle and then his final three years at left tackle. The 6-5, 316 pound lineman was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in both 2014 and 2015 and in 2013 was a second-team selection. He had a very productive collegiate career and that warranted some nice pre-draft grades, with NFL.com grading him as a first or second round prospect and CBS grading him as a second rounder. Clearly, then, the name of the game with this pick was all about value.
The position, as we've talked about over the past few months, is not among the team's biggest needs, but Le'Raven Clark does give the Colts another talented player along their line. He obviously won't play left tackle with the Colts since Jack Mewhort is there, but he provides immediate competition for Denzelle Good and Joe Reitz at right tackle. Many think he could play either tackle or guard in the NFL, so the Colts could have options on where to play him.
It's clear that the Colts put a focus on improving their offensive line, and that's what they have done through three rounds. They added center Ryan Kelly in the first round and now with their third round pick have added tackle Le'Raven Clark. An anonymous NFC personnel director told NFL.com before the draft that, "He's going to end up being big time in our league. He's got elite foot quickness, he's long and he's smart. He'll keep getting better once he gets to a pro offense and away from that stuff Texas Tech does and he'll become one of the top five tackles in our league." My Colts Account on twitter pointed out that all three picks for the Colts so far were included in the first round of Daniel Jeremiah's mock draft.
Again, this pick is all about value for the Colts, and it adds intrigue to their offensive line situation. Will the Colts play Clark at right tackle? Will they move him to right guard? It will be interesting to see where they end up playing him, but it's clear that the Colts determined to protect Andrew Luck.
Here's a complete look at the Colts' picks in the 2016 NFL Draft:
1st round, 18th overall pick: Ryan Kelly, center, Alabama
2nd round, 57th overall pick (from Packers): T.J. Green, safety, Clemson
3rd round, 82nd overall pick: Le'Raven Clark, offensive tackle, Texas Tech
4th round, 116th overall pick
4th round, 125th overall pick (from Packers)
5th round, 155th overall pick
7th round, 239th overall pick
7th round, 248th overall pick (from Packers)
The team's sixth round pick was traded to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for linebacker Sio Moore last year, leaving them with six picks in the draft (currently, barring a trade). Additionally, here's an update on the Colts' areas of need (in no particular order):
Offensive line (The Colts could still use offensive line help, but for the purposes of this list we're crossing it off since hte Colts did address the position already in the draft)
Defensive back (safety and/or cornerback)