With their first draft pick in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft the Indianapolis Colts went back and selected a offensive player in wide receiver Mike Strachan with the 229th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Fries, 6’6” 309lbs, started all over Penn State’s offensive line in his college career; starting 6 games at right tackle, nine games at left tackle, six games at right guard and one game at left guard between 2017-2020. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020 for Penn State.
Here’s Fries’ draft profile from NFL.com:
Lance Zierlien: “While he’s played tackle in the past, Fries is almost certainly locked into the guard role as a pro. He’s well-schooled and plays with good technique and quality hand usage, even though he needs to get into opponents a little more quickly. He’s not a bulldozer, but does a good job of working to sustain and finish once he gets locked in. Fries is limited athletically, which primarily shows itself with his lack of reactive agility against twists and in his recoveries when beaten by the pass rush. He’s just average, but might have enough skill level to find his way into a backup guard role as a Day 3 selection.”
Here’s what other have to say:
Will Fries was drafted with pick 249 of round 4 in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 8.51 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 171 out of 1143 OT from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/1DY3ggMRhk #RAS #Colts pic.twitter.com/4MVfWX1lo3— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) May 1, 2021
Will Fries (Penn State) is a day three tackle I love. Powerful run blocker who is a killer on combos. Technically sound in pass pro. Tough, solid performances against Chase Young, Kwity Paye, and Chauncey Golston in 2019. Will struggle a bit with speed but I love his film pic.twitter.com/F01Op9nSbg— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) April 21, 2021
Will Fries is my OT31. Long time starter, can play guard. Like his upper body strength and bend. Not explosive and kickslide might not be enough in the NFL. Plays in quicksand often. Swing reserve for #Colts #NFLDraft #HallamAnalysis— Shane P. Hallam (@ShanePHallam) May 1, 2021
To me, Fries sounds like a very durable and versatile offensive lineman. Fries has played in every position but centre and versatility is a valuable commodity in the NFL.
The Colts have been in need of offensive line depth and it showed last year when they were signing street free agents to start the Sunday the week they were signed. Fries will come in and provide valuable depth along the line.
The pick makes a lot of sense for the Colts and even thought he isn’t the offensive tackle fans wanted he will compete with Pinter and Reed for back up interior line work.