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Under-The-Radar Offensive Tackles for the Colts in the 2021 NFL Draft

Which tackles should the Colts’ look at on day three?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Penn State at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is no secret that the Colts will be drafting an offensive tackle in this class. While their starter at left tackle will likely be found in the first round (or in the second), that doesn’t completely rule out the Colts doubling up on the position on day three. After noting it as a major miss last offseason, Chris Ballard has changed course and added a ton of offensive tackles to this roster this offseason. So far, he has signed two free agents (Sam Tevi and Julie’n Davenport) while also signing three other players to futures deals.

Ballard clearly wants competition at backup offensive tackle so I do think drafting a tackle on day three is in play this year. Here are a few underrated players the Colts could look at on day three:

Will Fries, OT, Penn State

Rutgers v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Fries is a name that has hardly been discussed this draft cycle but his film was really impressive to me. A veteran tackle in this class, Fries has started 42 games in his college career. He is also versatile, as he has started games at right tackle, left tackle, and both guard spots. His athletic profile wasn’t elite by any means but he did post an elite vertical jump of 31 inches and broad jump of 115 inches.

Fries is a powerful technician on film. In the run game, he is excellent in the box as he has the power and leg drive to move defenders with ease. He is outstanding on combo blocks and is a nasty finisher when he knocks a defender off balance. In the pass game, he is patient and nuanced with how he attacks pass rushers. He does struggle with speed on the outside but he has great hands and varies his attacks to keep defenders off balance. He may never be a top starter in the league but he has a great baseline to be a very good swing tackle at the next level.

Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska

Nebraska v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Jaimes is another offensive tackle in this loaded class that has been a bit forgotten. A four year starter at Nebraska, Jaimes started every single game of his college career. While he is a bit small for NFL tackle standards, he posted elite times in the three cone time of 7.5 seconds, vertical jump with 30.5 inches, and broad jump with 112 inches.

Jaimes may be the best technician in this draft class. He isn’t overly explosive or athletic on film but he wins with how he attacks defenders. In the run game, he is very strategic in how he moves defenders. He is great at positioning his body and walling defenders out of run gaps. Where he shines though, is in the pass game. He is an excellent hand fighter who knows how to break long arms and bull rushes with ease. He always keeps his base wide and clean and shuffles with ease in pass pro. Teams may move him inside due to his size and length but I would personally play him at tackle in the NFL.

Landon Young, OT, Kentucky

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - North Carolina State v Kentucky Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Transitioning more to a raw prospect, Landon Young has the size, length, and athleticism to be a starting left tackle in the NFL. Young appeared in 49 games in his career, starting his final 24 at left tackle for Kentucky. He was voted First Team All-SEC by coaches in 2020. He had an outstanding Pro Day where he benched 34 reps, had a vertical jump of 30.5 inches, and a broad jump of 108 inches.

Young is a fascinating player because he has plenty of experience in the run game but very little in the pass. Kentucky didn’t have an actual quarterback the last two years so their offense was run heavy. Young does excel as a run blocker though as he displaces defenders with ease and explodes out of his stance. The issues arise in standard pass pro though because of his lack of experience. To add more to his profile, he is a major face in community service as he was the All State Good Works Team Captain in 2019 for his hundreds of hours of community service logged. He is raw but I would take a shot on his athleticism, run blocking, and character in this draft.

Larnel Coleman, OT, UMASS

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 10 BYU at UMass Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

My final player for this list is a relative unknown in a deep class. Coleman is another experienced tackle who started every game of the last three seasons for UMASS. He had a great Pro Day where he posted an elite vertical jump of 31 inches and broad jump of 113 inches.

Coleman is a major work in progress but there are things to like on film. The main thing is his length, as he measured as having 36.25 inch arms this offseason. These vines allow him stymie defenders in their tracks and makes life easier for him in the run and pass game. He has a good first punch and likes to finish his defenders in the dirt when he gets a chance. When he can land the first punch, good things usually happen. He needs legit NFL coaching to fix his footwork but I think he can become something in the NFL.

Honorable Mentions

  • Tommy Doyle, Miami (Ohio): Huge offensive tackle with an elite athletic profile. There are some technical flaws to iron out but he’s legit.
  • Darius Harper, Cincinnati: Former basketball player still learning the position. Probably a practice squad stash for a year type of player.
  • Teton Saltes, New Mexico: Nasty finisher who competes like hell on game day. With proper coaching, he can become a legit player in the league (shout-out to Mark Olson on Twitter).
  • Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan: Powerful player who impressed at the Senior Bowl. Definitely someone I liked more than most on film.