According to The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer, the Indianapolis Colts will select Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw with the 21st overall pick during the upcoming NFL Draft in his recent 2021 NFL Mock Draft:
21. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech (6-5, 314 pounds)
Now that the Colts have landed Wentz as their new starting quarterback, they can focus first on replacing 32-year-old retiree Anthony Castonzo with another potential rock at left tackle. Darrisaw has put himself into strong first-round consideration with standout athleticism that can help him develop into a smooth and nimble long-term pass protector in the NFL.
The 6’5”, 314 pound junior offensive tackle started in all 9 games this past season on the blindside for the Hokies—earning 2020 AP 2nd-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC honors respectively.
He also started all 13 games at left tackle as a sophomore too in 2019.
Here’s NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah’s scouting report on Darrisaw, who he has recently ranked as his 26th best prospect overall:
26. Christian Darrisaw
Virginia Tech · OT · Junior
Darrisaw was a solid, reliable starter at left tackle during his career with the Hokies. He has ideal size, length and balance. In the passing game, he has average foot quickness in his set but can bend his knees and plays with a firm base. He has a sharp two-hand punch and generally keeps defenders away from his chest. He plays with excellent awareness. He uses his upper-body strength to torque and turn defenders in the run game. He takes good angles to the second level, where he’s able to position and wall off linebackers. He will have some trouble adjusting in space because of his average change-of-direction skills. I view Darrisaw as a player who’ll be starting at right tackle very early in his NFL career.
ESPN’s Todd McShay has Darrisaw just slightly higher on his overall big board:
24. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech*
HT: 6-5 | WT: 314
Grade: 90 | Previous rank: 23
Darrisaw has been a mainstay at left tackle for the Hokies. Over the past two years, he has allowed just three sacks on 643 pass-blocking snaps. Darrisaw is powerful as a pass protector and smooth working to the second level as a run-blocker. His technique is a little inconsistent, but he has a high ceiling and the tools to be a starting left tackle from day one.
Here’s what else they’re saying on Darrisaw:
• Penei Sewell— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) February 12, 2021
• Rashawn Slater
• Christian Darrisaw
• Alex Leatherwood
• Teven Jenkins
• Samuel Cosmi
• Jalen Mayfield
• Dillon Radunz
• Liam Eichenberg
• Jackson Carman
Plenty of others to name. Never seen an OT class this deep throughout. Potentially great group.
'Highway 77' Jr.?— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) December 27, 2020
Christian Darrisaw with a lot of big time finishes on film. Looks like a lock for the top 20 pic.twitter.com/TACjZbwPSx
for his size, christian darrisaw gets horizontal and turns damn quick on reach blocks. it honestly reminded me of dallas tyron smith.— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) January 31, 2021
then i had to remind myself that usc tyron smith was one of the most under-appreciated aliens of the last 20 years https://t.co/98jRs4ygJW pic.twitter.com/ibZbfLYHWB
Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw (@Bigdawgchris1) has the makings of an NFL left tackle. Really good size, great length, and flashes of excellence on film. A very high ceiling for one of the best tackles in the nation. #NFLDraft #DraftTwitter pic.twitter.com/BcLWQqbtlD— Jack Borowsky (@Jack_Borowsky) July 3, 2020
I’m a huge fan of this OT class! Here’s one of my favorites.— Damian Parson (@DP_NFL) January 12, 2021
Christian Darrisaw has all of the tools to be a franchise OT!
Darrisaw is strong at the POA, a quick-setter in pass pro, & one of the best reach blockers in the class!
Top 20 on my board! #NFLDraft2021 #nfl pic.twitter.com/59NtTZUJYk
Easy to see why @dpbrugler is hearing 1st Round buzz from VaTech OT Christian Darrisaw.— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 11, 2020
Massive, mauling OT with good quickness/balance - big but not sloppy
I think Chazz Surratt will be seeing him in his nightmares. Darrisaw did some good work on 2nd/3rd levels in loss vs UNC pic.twitter.com/qk7Sk94XLG
LT Christian Darrisaw is a mauling/people mover... Reminds me a bit of La’el Collins— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 8, 2020
Have you studied him @MoveTheSticks?!
Played high school football with Boston College OL Zion Johnson before going to Fort Union Military academy pic.twitter.com/ZM2i8J1yfW
#VirginiaTech LT Christian Darrisaw is a human bulldozer.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) December 6, 2020
That's what a people mover looks like! And why the 1st round buzz is legit.
And one of my personal favorite prospects, #VirginiaTech OT Christian Darrisaw against Wake Forest's Boogie Basham. Darrisaw is a people mover in the run game and controls rushers with his hands in pass pro. Boogie will be a great test for Darrisaw.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 24, 2020
Christian Darrisaw is a BULLY.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 19, 2021
Highest-graded run-blocker at OT pic.twitter.com/0OEujcdppS
Only FBS OL with 90+ pass and run blocking grades:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 13, 2021
Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Brady Christensen, BYU pic.twitter.com/193U1ox1Vs
Love Christian Darrisaw's mentality and aggressiveness. No one blitzing off the edge, he finds work and lays a man out. Pass pro doesn't have to be passive at all. pic.twitter.com/xboYpWOIMA— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 20, 2021
Few more pass sets. Darrisaw has a good anchor/base so he'll often let guys come to him. Sit back, get to your set point, and then finish with your hands. Really smooth and explosive out of his stance to cut off the angle/maintain leverage or run him past the QB. pic.twitter.com/Pkgv7B8GoN— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 1, 2021
Obviously, the Colts have an immediate huge hole to fill at starting left tackle, as longtime veteran anchor Anthony Castonzo retired earlier this offseason.
Darrisaw could very well be the top prospect on the board at #21—if available, where talent and team need perfectly coincide for the Colts.
He projects to be a ‘plug-and-play’ starter at left tackle from ‘Day 1’ as a rookie, as he’s already gifted in pass protection—featuring strong hands, a long reach, balance, and quick feet, and he has consistently been a mauler in the ground game—showcasing his elite power and strength.
His technique could use some fine-tuning, but Colts offensive line coaches Chris Strausser and Kevin Mawae could definitely coach him up under short notice.
It helps that Darrisaw projects to be a natural fit in the Colts’ zone blocking scheme—with his exceptional ability to play in space and get to the second level of opposing defenses to seal and wall off blocks—as it would be a nearly perfect pairing in Indianapolis.
Right now, Darrisaw is my favorite prospect potentially available for the Colts at #21 because he seems like an offensive tackle who has a really high floor and can contribute immediately in 2021—while still being a possible NFL star at left tackle down the road as he continues to grow and further develop.