Zach Banner is headed to Indy to try and help fix a struggling offensive line. The Colts, whom have been looking to sure up their offensive line for years, selected the big man with 137th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Indy’s Offensive Line
The Colts have had a lot of moving pieces across the offensive line since Andrew Luck was drafted in 2012. Their only constant during that time has been Anthony Costanzo, their left tackle protecting Andrew Luck’s blindside.
Last season they selected Center, Ryan Kelly in the first round (18th overall) who had an excellent rookie season according to Pro Football Focus— as he looks to be the future of the offensive line in Indianapolis.
Coming back from an injury and heading into a contract year is, Jack Mewhort at Left Guard. Mewhort is a serviceable player when healthy and the left guard position is his to lose, but the Colts can’t bank on him starting all 16 games in 2017.
The right side of the Colts’ Line is their biggest issue—Joe Haeg at guard and Le’Raven Clark at tackle, who at the moment project as their starters for 2017. Colts GM Chris Ballard, brought in veteran center, Brian Schwenke this offseason to compete and help with depth this offseason.
Ballard also has mentioned Denzelle Good at the NFL Scouting Combine as a name to remember as the season starts, who is in line to be a key backup for Indy.
All of that being said, the Colts don’t have the most dominant or deep Offensive Line in the NFL or even in the AFC South for that matter.
As I mentioned in my last article about Banner, “2017 NFL Draft: Zach Banner”, he is a massive human being, who excels most in the run game by driving defenders off the ball and overpowering them at the point of attack.
Although his pass blocking needs to improve, it is not considered to be a liability at the next level (he only gave up 2 sacks and one QB Hit all last season). Banner’s intelligence and character which is something that every team in the NFL covets—his football IQ was battle-tested in USC’s pro-style offense.
One of his biggest strengths is his size, but one of his biggest down falls is his size, weighing in at 253 lbs., but is rumored to be down to 249 lbs.
Banner said he's dropped down to 349 pounds, and weight will no longer be a problem. Expects to play tackle. #Colts— George Bremer (@gmbremer) April 29, 2017
How he fits
Banner goes to a franchise that needs help badly on the offensive line, due to lack of a run game and their star QB always being in the turf. The USC alumnus has the size, intelligence, leadership, and physical ability to contribute to the Colts right away as a rookie.
But if Banner can control his weight, and pick up the offense quickly, he may not only be contributing as a rookie but starting somewhere on the offensive line as early as Week 1 for the Indianapolis Colts. Banner will make an immediate impact in Indy, well the Colts certainly hope so.