The Indianapolis Colts addressed just about all their needs this offseason. They appear to possess a roster capable of winning the AFC South and going on a playoff run.
But in an article released on June 15, NFL writer Kristopher Knox named one big regret that every NFL team should have from the 2022 offseason. For Indianapolis, he wrote the Colts should regret “not adding insurance for Matt Pryor at left tackle.”
“While the Colts may be happy to give Pryor the first crack at the starting job, they should regret not having more insurance at the position,” Knox wrote. “Indy didn’t bring back Eric Fisher (he’s still unsigned), sign star free agent Terron Armstead or draft a tackle before landing Bernhard Raimann in Round 3.”
Although Indianapolis didn’t sign Fisher, general manager Chris Ballard re-signed Pryor to a one-year deal worth as much as $6 million. Pryor is the front runner to start on Matt Ryan’s blindside.
ALL the latest Colts news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Colts newsletter here!
Matt Pryor to Start at Left Tackle?
But despite his lack of experience, the Colts have expressed confidence in Pryor this offseason. Ballard praised the swing tackle while on The Pat McAfee Show on March 22.
“Matt Pryor played really good for us this year, and I think people kind of ignored it,” Ballard said. “Even against the Raiders, when you go back and watch the Raider game, he was outstanding at left tackle, so we’ll give him the first shot at it.”
The top competition for Pryor is Raimann. As Knox noted, the Colts drafted Raimann in the third round of April’s draft.
Drafting an offensive tackle sooner would have been more ideal. Tackles drafted in the first round often start as rookies.
But the Colts didn’t have a first-round choice and had to address their lack of pass catchers. Ballard spent the team’s first two draft picks on a wide receiver and tight end; then, he selected Raimann at No. 77 overall with the team’s next choice.
Other Options For Colts at Left Tackle
It will be a major surprise if either Pryor or Raimann do not start at left tackle this season. But the Colts did technically “add insurance” this offseason for the offensive line’s blindside.
In addition to re-signing Pryor, the Colts added veterans Dennis Kelly and Jason Spriggs. Neither one has played left tackle consistently in their careers, but each could do it if need be.
Still, Knox wrote it would have been more prudent for Indianapolis to add a veteran with more experience at left tackle.
“The Colts do have options at left tackle, but they could have used a proven, high-level starter,” Knox wrote. “Ryan is 37 years old and has never been among the league’s most mobile pocket passers.
“Indy has a lot riding on keeping Ryan upright and healthy in 2022. Heading into camp, there’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding the most critical spot on Indianapolis’ line.”
Despite not having a high-level starter at left tackle, the Colts came in at No. 10 on Pro Football Focus’s recent offensive line rankings. PFF isn’t down on Pryor as Knox is.
“Matt Pryor was similarly impressive (to Danny Pinter) in limited playing time, posting a 76.5 overall grade on 438 snaps at mostly right tackle last season,” wrote NFL analyst Michael Renner.