Pre-Draft Colts Positional Outlook: Interior Offensive Line

Looking at the Colts' roster ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, you may be hard-pressed to find a deeper, more experienced group that the interior offensive line built by Chris Ballard over the years.
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Take one look at the interior offensive line of the Indianapolis Colts and you can see Chris Ballard's philosophy of building in the trenches and down the middle on full display.

Though star center Ryan Kelly was a Ryan Grigson pick, Ballard has come in and solidified the interior by locking up Kelly long-term, drafting Quenton Nelson sixth overall in 2018, and adding Mark Glowinski from Seattle off of waivers in 2017.

Those three combine to form arguably the best guard/center trio in football, allowing the Colts to routinely control the line of scrimmage in the run game, making for a tough offense to consistently stop.

On the roster: Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Joey Hunt, Chris Reed, Danny Pinter, Sam Jones, Jake Eldrenkamp

Pre-Draft need: Low

Any time you can start a position group with the best player at his position in the league, you're in great shape as a whole.

That's exactly what the Colts have in Nelson, who has been an All-Pro since stepping onto an NFL field out of Notre Dame three seasons ago. He's dominant in the run game and has been terrific in pass protection.

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Next to him, Kelly has developed into a top 5-7 center in football, shaking off early injuries in his career to solidify the center of the Colts' offensive line for years to come.

Glowinski is one of Ballard's best moves as the Colts' GM to date. Ballard claimed Glowinski off of waivers from the OL-needy Seahawks in late December 2017. From there, Glowinski has turned into a key piece of the offensive line, taking over as the starting right guard in Week 6 of 2018, eventually signing a long-term extension with the Colts.

Behind that trio, I personally like the depth and experience Joey Hunt provides at center behind Kelly. Hunt isn't a guy you want starting a bunch of games in today's game, but any time you can have that experience as depth, you have to be happy with it.

Adding Chris Reed in free agency was quite the grab for Ballard, especially after a year in which Reed started a bunch of games with the Carolina Panthers and played some great football. Having that guy as the third guard on the roster shows just how good the depth is inside.

Names like Sam Jones, Danny Pinter and Jake Eldrenkamp will battle it out for the fourth guard spot and a practice squad job. Personally, I like Jones the most. He brings that nastiness in the run game that the Colts love, but Pinter is held to a higher regard in the building and has the inside track for the No. 4 job.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts grab an interior OL late in the draft due to Glowinski entering his contract year, but this is a position that they appear set at and can avoid in the draft if need be.

Have thoughts on the interior offensive line depth? Drop a line in the comments section below!


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