The Colts’ struggles along the offensive line have been a major storyline in Indianapolis over the past few years, and Chris Ballard attempted to address those issues this offseason. Ballard especially spent a lot of resources on the guard position signing free agent Matt Slauson, drafting Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith, and re-signing Jack Mewhort.
Mewhort was an extremely solid lineman during his first two NFL seasons after being drafted by the Colts in the second round of the 2014 Draft. He played well in 2016 as well, but he battled through injuries and only played in 10 games.
Last season was a major disappointment for Mewhort. A knee injury caused his play to decline when he was on the field, and he eventually needed season-ending surgery on that knee. Mewhort’s track record of strong play encouraged Chris Ballard to re-sign him to a one-year deal this offseason to see if he could return to that level of play when healthy.
The Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer listed Mewhort as one of five Colts who are under the most pressure this season, and he believes the former Ohio State Buckeye is a “longshot to land a starting spot” this year.
It’s fairly clear that Ballard hopes that he just drafted his two guards of the future in Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith this past offseason, and he is keeping Mewhort and Slauson around as veterans to help their development. Mewhort and Slauson are both on one-year deals, so the combination of Nelson and Smith could start as soon as next season.
While I think Mewhort could still be an effective guard when healthy, it seems that the Colts have already moved on from him before the year even starts.