Four ways Indianapolis Colts can address OT need this offseason

Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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Alex Leatherwood, 2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft prospect Alex Leatherwood #70 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

2. Draft a Tackle Early in 2021

If the Indianapolis Colts decide to keep Nelson at guard next year, then the next obvious move would be to look to the 2021 NFL Draft for help at tackle. It’s a good year to need help at the position, with a stacked group projected to be taken in the first two days of the draft.

The biggest question is which prospects fit what Ballard likes in a tackle? Ballard has only selected a few tackles in his tenure so far as GM, and there aren’t too many patterns.

He drafted Zach Banner in the fourth round in 2017, who had good numbers as far as height, weight, hand size and arm length went, but his athletic testing was average to poor across the board. Braden Smith, a second-round pick in 2018, had shorter arms, but tested well in his 10-yard split and explosion numbers (jumps). Listed as a guard, he ended up at tackle. Jackson Barton, a seventh-rounder in 2019, had average numbers across the board.

The one constant here with Ballard, as it seems with many positions, is he likes to select seniors who have been team captains. The Senior Bowl might be the best place to look. If we’re looking at early-round projections, Alex Leatherwood seems like a prime fit for the Colts. Day two players to look at would be small schoolers Spencer Brown and Dillon Radunz. If he goes with a good athlete, look at Texas’ Samuel Cosmi.

Either way, going tackle early seems exactly like something Ballard would do, given that the value is right.