According to Pro Football Focus, the Indianapolis Colts are listed as the ‘ideal landing spot’ for Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little—among the 2021 NFL Draft’s Top 10 offensive line prospects:
T WALKER LITTLE, STANFORD: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Little is a high-risk, high-reward prospect. The former five-star recruit played just one game over the past two years due to injury and opting out of the 2020 season. As a result, Little is a question mark. But the 6-foot-7, 309-pound tackle has all the physical traits a team could want from a tackle prospect, and what we last saw from him in pass protection was promising.
Across Little’s last seven games at Stanford — one in 2019 and six in 2018 — he posted a 93.3 pass-blocking grade and a 0.4% pressure rate allowed. He has a strong core and some of the best mirror ability in the entire class.
Indy has a clear need at left tackle following Anthony Castonzo‘s retirement. It would be a great environment for Little to get back up to speed in. Not to mention, this would also allow Quenton Nelson to stay at guard, where he belongs.
The 6’7”, 309 pound offensive tackle (who’s not so little) opted out of his senior season and suffered a season-ending injury after just one start at left tackle a season prior in 2019.
However, he’s just two years removed from a sophomore season for Stanford, in which he made 12 starts at left tackle in 2018—earning All-Pac 12 First-Team honors (and was a former Pac 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2017 previously).
“Walker Little aligned at left tackle for the Cardinal offense. He is a big, strong prospect with excellent length and prototypical NFL size. He has excellent range, which makes him ideally suited to play on the edge. He plays with good athleticism overall, as evidenced by his fluid pass set and his ability to laterally redirect inside. He also demonstrates excellent latch strength in his hands. He will compete as a run blocker but doesn’t generate much vertical movement. He plays with vision and instincts to easily identify twists and stunts. Little suffered a knee injury in September of 2019 and hasn’t played since after also opting out of 2020.”
Here’s what else they’re saying on Little:
But of the 2 games I saw in pass pro, a lot of work needs to be done. Gives up way too soft of an inside shoulder & is susceptible to counters, often late with his hands. Has a hitch with his set foot out of his pass set that comes & goes, but hurts his ability vs. edge speed.— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) May 8, 2019
Also...if Walker Little is healthy (we haven't seen him play in two years due to injury and opt-out), he will be in my top 40 players.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 26, 2021
Immediate starter at right tackle.
Stanford OT Walker Little could be the steal of the Draft pic.twitter.com/fBt95acEIg— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 4, 2021
Walker Little career at Stanford:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 12, 2021
Pass block snaps: 680
QB hits allowed: 4 pic.twitter.com/oQw4FHNrzp
Of course, the Colts clearly need a starting left tackle with longtime veteran anchor Anthony Castonzo’s earlier offseason retirement—and no viable in-house replacement.
Coincidentally, Little’s uncle, Jack Little, was an offensive tackle selected in the 5th round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts and played two pro seasons for the franchise—making 12 starts.
Little appears to be a good athlete with solid footwork and lateral quickness, that can really excel in pass protection—but may need to get a bit stronger as a run blocker at the point of attack.
Still, he has the movement skills to theoretically excel in the Colts’ zone blocking scheme.
Given that he’s only played one meaningful football game in the past two seasons, Little may be flying under the radar a bit among the draft’s top offensive tackle prospects.
He appears to be a ‘Day 2’ pick for a tackle-needy pro team like the Colts, who very well could heavily consider him during the early rounds of draft weekend.