The Indianapolis Colts have a ton of holes to fill to build off their incredible 11-5 campaign in Andrew Luck‘s rookie season. But while most mock drafts and analysts have them taking mostly defensive players on the first two days of the 2013 NFL Draft, they must pay quite a bit of attention to their offensive line as well. There’s no argument that the Colts must improve their defense to make a run in the AFC playoffs, but if they want Luck to be around for at least a decade, they’ll need to protect him better.
In his outstanding rookie season in which he was robbed of the Rookie of the Year award, Luck was sacked a total of 41 times, which is over two and a half per game. That’s not the kind of beating a franchise quarterback should be taking. In fact, only three other quarterbacks were sacked more often than Luck in 2012: Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Andy Dalton.
So aside from all the defensive attention the Colts must pay in this year’s draft, they need to focus on the offensive line as well and there are some solid prospects outside of the elite few who will be selected in the first round. It’s great that Indy did so well in 2012, but now they must select toward the end of each round, which means no more super high picks like Luck. But after the Luke Joeckels and Chance Warmacks of the draft are the second-tier offensive linemen like Alabama guard Barrett Jones, Tennessee tackle Dallas Thomas and Wisconsin center Travis Frederick. Either of these three players would be excellent choices for the Colts in the second round. Now right now, Indianapolis doesn’t have a second-round pick, but if either of those three linemen are still available late in the second round, the Colts should pounce.
Most folks are saying the Colts should focus on defense for the first two days of the draft and then focus on the offensive line on day three, but they need players who are going to make an immediate impact and they’re much more likely to find that in rounds one, two and maybe even three. Luck would agree and he’ll definitely have at least some say in the matter come draft day.