It's the time of year where a lot of grades get thrown around, and recently there have been a number of people giving offseason grades for each NFL team.
We've covered several of them, and ESPN's Mike Sando recently put together another one in which he asked several analysts (Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Mark Dominik, and Field Yates) for their thoughts on each team's offseason.
They gave the Colts a "C" for their offseason, with the analysts thinking the Colts are on the right track but not there yet. "The process was right this offseason, but the team itself is not a whole lot better talent-wise," Field Yates said, while Mark Dominik said that if Andrew Luck is healthy the Colts will make the playoffs. Bill Polian pointed out that the Colts lost their best linebacker in free agency (Jerrell Freeman), but most of the talk pertained to the offensive line.
Yates saw the team's biggest offseason move as hiring Joe Philbin, while Bill Polian noted that Ryan Kelly shares similarities with Jeff Saturday and that Austin Blythe has a chance to make the roster. The most interesting part about their comments, however, came from Louis Riddick - a smart, respected analyst - when he called Le'Raven Clark a "project of all projects."
This is something that we heard about Clark throughout the draft process and after the Colts selected him in the third round out of Texas Tech, as he was seen as a developmental guy. He has a ton of talent, but he's coming from Texas Tech's spread system that doesn't always translate to the NFL. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson even talked at length shortly before the draft about the challenges of scouting linemen from spread offenses in college and the adjustment to the NFL level.
In other words, just as we've been saying all along, don't expect Le'Raven Clark to start right away. He's a very talented player who has the looks of a future NFL starter, and so it was smart of the Colts to grab him in the third round to give Joe Philbin more talent to work with. But Clark is a project, and Louis Riddick seems to think that it's a pretty massive project too. It will take time for Clark to adjust to the NFL level and a pro system, but once that happens he could be a very good lineman for the Colts.