According to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, the Indianapolis Colts will select Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw with the 21st overall pick in his 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0:
Virginia Tech · OT
Indianapolis has a hole at left tackle in the wake of Anthony Castonzo’s retirement. Darrisaw can slide right in and be a starter at the position.
The 6’5”, 314 pound junior offensive tackle started in all 9 games this past season on the blindside for the Hokies—earning 2020 First-Team All-ACC honors.
He also started all 13 games at left tackle as a sophomore in 2019 and even started as a true freshman for Virginia Tech a season prior.
Here’s ESPN Mel Kiper Jr.’s scouting summary on Darrisaw, who the longtime NFL Draft guru ranks as his 23rd best prospect overall:
23. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
HT: 6-5 | WT: 314 | Previously: 18
The more I watch Darrisaw, the more I like him. He’s a road grader in the running game who just erases edge defenders. He has a mean streak and finishes plays. He started as the Hokies’ left tackle as a true freshman in 2018, and he just keeps getting better. The junior is still young, but he had a phenomenal 2020 season. He has the frame to stick at left tackle in the NFL.
If he falls to #21, Darrisaw could very well be the best prospect available for the Colts, who also happens to solve a significant team need given veteran anchor Anthony Castonzo’s earlier offseason retirement at starting left tackle:
Christian Darrisaw grade/rank among P5 tackles in 2020:— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 9, 2021
PFF Grade - 95.6 (1st)
Run-blocking Grade - 94.5 (1st)
Pass-blocking Grade - 90.8 (1st) pic.twitter.com/iyry9vf6TZ
Christian Darrisaw across 293 pass-blocking snaps last season— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 20, 2021
QB pressures allowed: 6
Sacks: 0 pic.twitter.com/0ztitn2ZZi
Highest career run-blocking grade in the 2021 Draft class— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 25, 2021
1. Penei Sewell, Oregon: 94.8
2. Landon Dickerson, Bama: 93.9
3. Brady Christensen, BYU: 91.2
4. Teven Jenkins, OK St: 90.3
5. Christian Darrisaw, VA Tech: 90.2 pic.twitter.com/6TC1Yczb31
Christian Darrisaw is a BULLY.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 19, 2021
Highest-graded run-blocker at OT pic.twitter.com/0OEujcdppS
#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.
#VirginiaTech LT Christian Darrisaw has completely erased Quincy Roche so far today.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) November 14, 2020
Darrisaw again showing why he is one of the top-20 draft-eligible prospects in the country IMO.
I think NFL speed might stun him for a bit. You've gotta get out of your stance and set up shop against NFL speed off the edge.— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 10, 2021
Not gonna get guys trying to bull rush you all game bc they don't know any moves like in college
Getting out in space and gets enough of the CB on the way by to push him past the ball carrier on a screen. pic.twitter.com/g2n0x7nNNF— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 1, 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
Featuring size, length, and mobility (especially for his sheer stature), Darrisaw is a potential immediate ‘play-and-play’ starter for the Colts as their next franchise blindside bookend.
Darrisaw is a certified road grader in the ground game, who loves mauling and overpowering opponents as a run blocker—showcasing his immense strength and physicality in the trenches.
As a ‘dancing bear’, he also has surprisingly quick feet for his sheer size in pass protection with the ability to neutralize edge rushers—utilizing his length and powerful hands too (in addition to simply stone walling pass rushers on any attempted, ill-advised bull rushes).
While Darrisaw’s overall technique could use some fine-tuning, Colts offensive line coaches Chris Strausser and Kevin Mawae should be able to coach him up in no time.
Darrisaw also has the ability to play in space and get to the second and third level of opposing defenses, which should make him a natural in the Colts’ zone blocking scheme.
Although Darrisaw may not be the best left tackle in this loaded class when it’s all said and done, he has the chance to make an immediate NFL impact for his next team—even as a rookie.
However, while his floor is pretty high, so is his immense ceiling, as he has the chance to become one of the best left tackles in all of football in-time—growing and developing at the pro ranks into a perennial Pro Bowler.
Even though Indianapolis shouldn’t reach to fill a hole, there’s a strong chance that if Darrisaw is still available at #21, it’s truly ‘the perfect storm’ where best talent available and dire team need coincide for the Colts.