In addition to an 11-year pro football career, former Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Brian Baldinger is well-known as an analyst – most notably, for posting film analysis videos to Twitter.
With the Colts seeking offensive line improvement entering 2023, Baldinger broke down film of former Indianapolis OL Matt Pryor, who just became a free agent. Baldinger suggested the Colts should bring Pryor back this offseason and gloated over his versatility.
“I’m looking for depth on my offensive line, guys that have position flexibility,” Baldinger said via a Twitter video. “Guys like Matt Pryor.”
Pryor was a three-year starter at TCU and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now a four-year NFL pro, Pryor has split two years each with the Eagles and Colts. He’s appeared in 60 games, starting 24 in various positions across the offensive line.
During his Colts tenure, Pryor accumulated 14 starts. But he was one of the most criticized members of the Colts’ OL corps last season, allowing six sacks and five penalties.
Pryor, who was part of a unit that gave up 60 sacks last season, finished with a jarring 44.9 PFF grade. He started the first nine games but was benched on Nov. 6, 2022, only serving as a rotational OL thereafter.
Despite that, Baldinger thinks Pryor has done enough to draw the attention of NFL teams.
“Somebody get on the phone and go find Matt Pryor,” Baldinger said. “Go do your homework and get yourself some depth on your offensive line.”
Baldinger’s Case to Re-Sign Pryor
As Baldinger mentioned, what stands out about Pryor is that he can play multiple positions.
Pryor started the first four games of 2022 at left tackle but slid to right guard from Week 5 until Week 9.
“I believe that he can be a starter inside at guard in this league – at least be a swing guy at guard and tackle,” Baldinger said. “Like, what are these teams doing? Matt Pryor is available. You can line him up anywhere, he could be your sixth, your seventh guy. If you need him to start, he can start.”
Baldinger added that Pryor’s rotational ability and experience should stand out to NFL teams specifically looking for interior starting offensive linemen.
“He can hold up for you at left tackle,” Baldinger said. “I believe that he can be a starter inside at guard in this league – at least be a swing guy at guard and tackle.”
Other factors in why Baldinger thinks Pryor brings value to any roster is due to his age and measurables.
“He’s 28 years old,” Baldinger said. “He’s got power, got size – 6-foot-8, 340 pounds. Never really been injured.”
Baldinger also noted that Pryor’s experience ties in with who he’s played with during his career. Some of his previous teammates are among the game’s best OL, such as Quenton Nelson, Lane Johnson and Jason Peters.
Let Pryor Walk?
Even on a short-term deal, re-signing Pryor to Indianapolis’ roster could be risky.
Pryor only played 19% of snaps during Week 9 before he was benched.
Second-year guard Will Fries replaced Pryor in the lineup by Week 10 (November 6) and it remained that way until the end of the season, even with legendary Colts OL Jeff Saturday taking over as interim head coach.
The Colts might elect to choose Fries, who is younger and still on a rookie contract, rather than consider bringing back Pryor.
The same situation applies to Colts left tackle Bernhard Raimann, who officially took over as the full-time starting LT during the second half of the season.
Raimann’s potential was already substantial as a 2022 third-round draft pick, but with more playing time, he took steps in his development. Last December, his PFF pass-blocking grade improved from 55.0 to 75.5 in the span of a month.
Those reasons – in addition to finding other options in free agency and the draft – could be why the Colts don’t re-sign Pryor now or in the future.