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Colts Signing Veteran OG Dalton Risner Listed as ‘One Last Offseason Move’ by ESPN

Could the Colts not be done improving their offensive line?

NFL: OCT 27 Broncos at Colts Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Field Yates (subscription), the Indianapolis Colts signing veteran free agent guard Dalton Risner is the one last offseason move left for the Horseshoe—among remaining improvement ideas for each of the NFL’s 32 teams:

Indianapolis Colts

Sign guard Dalton Risner

It wasn’t long ago that the Colts’ offensive line was not just the best unit on the roster but also one of the best in the NFL. The collective play in 2022 was mediocre, and the depth has thinned out in a hurry. Will Fries projects as the top right guard, with 2020 draft pick Danny Pinter behind him. Risner is the best available guard at the moment and would likely slot into a starting gig after serving as a starter for all 62 games he played with the Broncos over the past four seasons. Whenever you draft a young quarterback, having as many capable players around him is simply good business. Risner would help Anthony Richardson immediately.

The one hiccup is that Risner is predominantly a left guard, having played all 967 total snaps at perennial NFL All-Pro Quenton Nelson’s current position this past season.

With Big Q highly, highly unlikely to move, that means that Risner would have to transition to the right side, which is easier said than done—and to keep it ‘PG’ is like ‘eating spaghetti with your non-dominant hand.’

The 27 year old Risner is a former 2019 second round pick of the Denver Broncos, where he’s played the past four seasons and made 62 career NFL starts. He earned PFWA All-Rookie honors back in 2019.

This past season, PFF ranked Risner as the league’s 42nd best overall graded guard with a +61.1 overall grade.

With new Colts offensive line Tony Sparano Jr. having high praise for incumbent starting right guard Will Fries to start the offseason—who did indeed get better down last season’s stretch, it appears as though it’s currently the 3rd year pro’s job to lose.

That being said, Risner’s addition would provide a veteran with starting experience who could either challenge for the right guard position or win it outright—worst case, providing a valuable interior backup during the regular season.