Colts like the progress they’ve made on offensive line

AP

Whether quarterback Andrew Luck actually throws behind them remains to be seen, but the Colts at least like the progress they’ve made putting together a new offensive line.

That was one of General Manager Chris Ballard’s priorities, and the first look at the line offers some reason to think there’s a better chance to protect Luck.

According to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, the Colts were without left tackle Anthony Castonzo in OTAs (no reason was given), so they lined up Denzelle Good at left tackle, Quenton Nelson at left guard, Ryan Kelly at center, Matt Slauson at right guard and Austin Howard at right tackle.

That right side being made up of veteran acquisitions is no accident, and using the No. 6 overall pick on Nelson seemed designed to provide a toughness to the team as much as an individual player.

Slauson and Howard are also reliable veterans, which helps since the Colts have struggled up with young players front in recent years.

“There just needs to be a mental toughness and a leadership with guys who are all in and can mentally and physically do it play in and play out,” coach Frank Reich said. “Those guys have proven that over their career and they’re stepping up in their leadership role and really setting the tone for us, not only as an offensive line, but really as an offense in general.”

The Colts also used one of their second-rounders on guard Braden Smith, adding another high pick to the mix. It’s a promising start, and if their quarterback actually ever throws again, they should be improved.