When you look across the league at the left tackle position, Anthony Castonzo is at the bottom of the totem pole.
Underrated: Ryan Kelly
The old thinking is that you don’t draft centers or guards in the first round, and certainly not early in the first round. But if the function of the draft is to make your team better, this pick of Ryan Kelly at No. 18 does a lot to do that. It solidifies the middle of their line, and it gives a quarterback who has dealt with injury issues another piece where they can shore up some of those issues up front. Kelly is a young guy who is highly intelligent, he will understand the fronts, the blitzes. He and Andrew Luck will be on the same page in terms of what they are seeing, and he will keep Andrew protected. That’s the key, you have to keep your quarterback from getting hit if you want to keep him on the field. He’s been hit way too much in his short career.
Overrated: Anthony Castonzo
He was a first-round pick and has been a plug-in guy at left tackle ever since he’s gotten there. When matched against a good player, he gets the job done. But when he has to go against the top guys ... I think about what [Rams defensive lineman] Robert Quinn did to him during the 2014 season. He was just absolutely a mess. Quinn had three or four sacks in that game. Castonzo has gotten a little better. He would be in the middle of the pack of right tackles, but he is certainly in the bottom five when you’re talking about left tackles. And because of that it has contributed to Andrew taking more hits. When you look across the league, relative to what other teams are doing with the left tackle position, he is at the bottom of the totem pole.
The national narrative last year that Chuck Pagano was not winning games and that he was on the hot seat, that was a mind-boggling narrative when you really look at the film. When you study them over the course of years, you understand the decline in the talent on the roster. If you look at their draft selections that they’ve made in recent memory, not a whole lot of these guys are producing at a winning level. That’s not O.K. when you are talking about your first-, second-, third- and fourth-round picks. These are guys who have not reached the expectations that come from where they are selected. But there is a disconnect there between Grigson and Pagano. The narrative that Pagano was under all this pressure and Ryan Grigson was getting a pass ... Chuck Pagano is a hell of a coach, and if you give him pieces he can put a winning product on the football field.