2014 NFL Draft: Indianapolis Colts Use First Pick to Protect Andrew Luck
After a really long wait, the Indianapolis Colts finally drafted a new player, offensive lineman Jack Mewhort out of The Ohio State University. Colts Nation’s initial reaction seemed to be “who?” But after a few minutes of reflection, the intent seems clear. I’m hardly qualified to evaluate offensive line talent, but I would like to think of Mewhort (6-foot-6, 309 pounds) as more than just a body to throw in front of Andrew Luck, like Clint Eastwood in the movie In the Line of Fire.
The two key words where Mewhort is concerned seem to be “versatility” and “durability,” which given the O-line’s medical charts these past few years, sounds good. Mewhort has experience playing each offensive line position, up to and including center, though analysts seem to be indicating he’s a Jack-of-all-trades, but master of none (at least not at the moment, but that’s not going to stop me from promoting Jack-of-All-Trades as his really cool new nickname). After the pick was made, Ryan Grigson said he’d had his eye on Mewhort for awhile (perhaps on a tip from a guy who spent last fall in the state of Ohio, Special Assistant to the Head Coach and former Cleveland Browns boss Rob Chudzinski?). Rumors say the Colts had the opportunity to trade down for more picks, but stayed at No. 59 to get the guy they wanted.
This move comes about 25 hours after the Houston Texans drafted Jadeveon Clowney with the number one pick, who, when paired with J.J. Watt, makes me personally afraid for Luck’s health and well-being. Fans have been begging the Colts to reinforce the line, so it’s hard for me to complain about the pick. But Mewhort was projected as a third-round pick. So the question is, what did the Colts see in him that made them reach?
The Colts released an interview with Mewhort on their website soon after drafting him, and he does seem to fit the team culture. Grigson and Chuck Pagano want guys who live up to the horseshoe motto of “Trust, Loyalty, and Respect,” and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to doubt Mewhort from that angle. He was a team captain at Ohio State, and he started 39 games for them without any injury trouble. Best of all, he seems to have a great attitude. Some fans may be frustrated by Grigson’s choice (or at least by his unpredictability), but I’m happy to see they’re not ignoring the crumbling fortress around Luck.