Indianapolis Colts Offseason Spotlight: Will Fries

Indianapolis Colts starting right guard Will Fries is entering a massive contract season in 2024.
Aug 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Will Fries (75) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Will Fries (75) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Indianapolis Colts' offensive line enjoyed an impressive bounce back season in 2023, drastically improving upon the disaster of 2022. The three veteran starters returned to their top form, Bernhard Raimann emerged as a legit starting left tackle, and right guard Will Fries solidified the group with his steady play.

Fries, a 2021 seventh round pick, has taken the long road to starting for the Colts. He essentially served a redshirt season as a rookie, appearing in just 22 snaps on offense in 2021. He served in a reserve role for the first half of the 2022 season before being thrust into the starting lineup by Interim Head Coach Jeff Saturday. Since that point, Fries has appeared in just about every offensive snap for the Colts.

The growth in Fries' game has been apparent over the past two seasons, as he has gone from an interesting young depth piece into a league-average starter at the right guard spot. He is entering a contract year in 2024, and he has the potential to earn a massive payday on the open market if he continues this upward trajectory this upcoming season.

Can Fries elevate his game to new heights in 2024?

Fantastic Flashes + Improvement

Fries is a massive interior offensive lineman, standing at 6'6" 310+ pounds. He uses that size and length to absorb contact as a pass blocker and throttle down his assignment early in the rep. He is at his best when he can make first contact on the inside, but he grew late in the year in how he identified stunts and how he adjusted to speed rushers.

Fries improved as a pass blocker tremendously this past season. He allowed just four sacks and four quarterback hits in 677 pass blocking snaps in 2024. His 65.4 pass block grade ranked 21st among all starting offensive guards, according to Pro Football Focus, which firmly sets him in the average to above average range.

There is still another step for Fries to take in pass protection, but he provides the Colts with a steady floor in that department. When he is aggressive in pass pro and firing out at his opponent, he can give even the best in the league trouble in one on one match-ups. He matched up particularly well with star players like Christian Barmore, Jeffery Simmons, and Dalvin Tomlinson last season.

In the run game, Fries is a technical player that knows how to hit his landmarks at the second level. He works well in tandem with his running mates and creates good displacement at the point of attack. He could stand to be a bit more assertive in the run game, but he had some really strong flashes in this department last year as well.

Fries still has a bigger step to take in the run game next season, but he has the size and the power to be an impact player in this department. He showed enough on film last year to believe that step is possible as a run blocker.

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Progress Still Needed

Fries took a massive step forward in 2023, but there is still room to improve for the young player. He struggled early in the season with stunt recognition and it led to several big hits on the Colts' quarterbacks. His overall lack of chemistry with players like Blake Freeland and Wesley French was apparent in some games as well.

Individually, Fries isn't the most flexible player in the world. He is a taller and lankier guard, so he can have some issues bending with quicker defenders. He could work on his flexibility to improve in this area or he could add more power to his game to add more shock to his first contact. Either way, Fries does need to find a better solution to his flexibility issues.

The last point to make regarding Fries is just his mentality. In flashes, Fries is a devastatingly powerful blocker that brings nasty physicality to the trenches. He just needs to hone in on that a tad more this next season. He doesn't need to crush defenders on every play, but it would be massive for him to consistently have this part of his game show up on film.

The Bottom Line

The Colts' offensive line is set for the 2024 season. Veteran starters Quenton Nelson, Braden Smith, and Ryan Kelly are expected to continue their strong play and it's easy to envision Bernhard Raimann taking another step forward. The biggest X-factor in this group is Will Fries.

Fries has a steady floor with what he gave the Colts last season, but he has another gear that he can hit in 2024. If he can consistently bring that physicality that he showed in flashes, while cleaning up some technical concerns, Fries can be a legit top 10-12 right guard in football. If he can hit those heights, the Colts' offensive line has a chance to be elite this upcoming season.

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Zach Hicks


Zach Hicks is the Lead Analyst for Zach has been on the NFL beat since 2017. His works have appeared on, the Locked On Podcast Network,,, &