INDIANAPOLIS – Is a guy with two career starts at left tackle going to be the Colts starter there in 2022
Tuesday’s re-signing of Matt Pryor (reportedly a 1-year deal for $5.5 million) is a definite boost to the offensive line depth.
But projecting the 27-year-old Pryor as a left tackle starter in ‘22 brings much uncertainty and is a reminder of the awful planning Chris Ballard has done at that spot.
When asked back in January if Pryor could be an option to start at left tackle moving forward, Ballard kept it short.
“We like Matt,” the GM said.
Pryor was a nice preseason trade addition by the Colts last year. The Colts acquired Pryor form the Eagles last August in exchange for a late Day 3 pick swap.
He proceeded to be an important depth piece at a couple of spots in 2021, making 5 starts (3 at right tackle, 1 at right guard, 1 at left tackle)
In that role again in 2022 would help the Colts sleep better at night.
Penciling Pryor in at left tackle though would be a cause for concern.
It remains to be seen if the Colts make any other moves at left tackle in free agency, with Eric Fisher expected to hit the open market this year. Other LT answers in free agency aren’t abundant. And relying on a draft pick to instantly impact at left tackle is a dream.
Outside of Jackson Barton in the 7th round of the 2019 draft, the Colts have mistakenly ignored one of the most important positions in football throughout Ballard’s drafts. That has happened despite Anthony Castonzo’s very clear flirting with retirement, and the injury risk in signing Fisher last offseason.
For how much Ballard has stressed building through the trenches, his ignoring of tackle in the draft has left the Colts in such a murky position.
Without any young option to groom and potentially turn to now, that’s why forcing Pryor there could be the path.