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5 offensive line prospects the Indianapolis Colts could target in the 2023 NFL Draft

Indianapolis Colts
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts’ 2022 season did not go as anyone expected. Many thought this would be a playoff contender, and some thought it would be a team that could win the division. Now, fans are turning their attention toward the upcoming NFL draft. 

The team has many needs to fill in order for them to get back into playoff contention. Previously, we looked at some of the best quarterback options for the Colts to choose from. Now that the season has ended, we now know the Colts will be selecting fourth.

Regardless of their draft position, the Colts need help along their offensive line, which has significantly regressed. Do they feel comfortable with Bernhard Raimann as their future left tackle, or would they be better moving him to right tackle, in turn, kicking Braden Smith to right guard? These are questions they will ultimately have to answer internally.

For now, here are five potential offensive lineman options for the Colts in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Paris Johnson Jr, offensive tackle, Ohio State

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Northwestern
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Paris Johnson is arguably the best offensive lineman in the draft. The other guy who is up for that consideration will come next. Johnson is listed at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds. He was responsible for protecting C.J. Stroud’s blindside.

During Johnson’s time at Ohio State, he played some offensive guard before moving out to left tackle. However, he projects to be an offensive tackle at the NFL level. Depending on what team drafts him, it’s possible Johnson starts at guard. Now, like most rookies, there is still work to be done to improve. 

He needs to work on his pass-blocking sets and hand placement. There is a lot of film where his left hand gets on the outside of the defender. This will lead to a lot of holding calls in the NFL. He also needs to get stronger, better at anchoring, and learn how to win at the point of attack in the run game. All of these flaws are correctible with NFL coaching and experience. 

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Peter Skoronski, offensive tackle, Northwestern

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Maryland
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Peter Skoronski is poised to be the next stud offensive lineman to come out of Northwestern. Skoronski is a three-year starter, starting in the Covid 2020 season when Rashawn Slater opted to sit out. Coincidentally, both guys are the same height, at 6-foot-4. While Slater is a bit heavier at 315 pounds compared to Skoronski’s 294 pounds.

A knock on Skoronski is his height and arm length. There are some GMs that will not consider him because of his short arms. However, he is very fluid and very fundamentally sound. And besides the short arms, he struggles against pass rushers who are explosive. This concern could also be another reason why some teams rate him lower on their boards. 

It’s also possible that teams see him more as a guard than a tackle at the NFL level. Regardless, many scouts are projecting Skoronski to be a day-one starter on any team that drafts him. And he is drawing comparisons to Justin Pugh.

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Broderick Jones, offensive lineman, Georgia

NCAA Football: Georgia at Kentucky
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Broderick Jones is another shorter offensive line prospect, coming in at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds. How he performs at the combine will be a big determining factor in his draft day projection. Unlike, Johnson or Skoronski, Jones is a little bit more of a project.

At least from a technical standpoint. Jones does have good arm length, moves well, and shows some versatility in his pass sets. In last year’s National Championship game, he was very impressive against Will Anderson Jr. 

Unfortunately, Jones’ hand placement is also wide and late. And he does allow defenders to get into his chest, which will be problematic at the NFL level. Regardless, Jones is a very enticing player that many GMs will draft based more on his future projections than what he currently is.

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Dawand Jones, offensive lineman, Ohio State

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
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Dawand Jones grew up in Indianapolis playing high school football at Ben Davis. He also played basketball, which isn’t surprising in the Hoosier State. Listed at 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds, he is a massive human being

Jones is an absolute monster when it comes to run blocking. That size and the power that will come with it while he’s on the move is frightening. He is able to stun opponents with his hands, and those hands are not easy to move. At this point, he is a better run blocker than a pass blocker. 

Even though he is a big person, he is fairly nimble and does a good job of competing as a pass-blocker. Unfortunately, his weight and the fact that he’s top-heavy do not help him. It’s most likely that teams will work hard to get his weight lowered and help him develop a stronger lower half. He has only played right tackle while in college, so that too, could hurt his draft prospects. However, Jones draws comparisons to Orlando Brown Jr. 

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Matthew Bergeron, offensive lineman, Syracuse

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Boston College
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Bergeron is an offensive lineman that not many may be aware of, let alone as a first-round draft pick. However, he is a name to keep an eye on throughout the scouting process as a player who could rise as the draft gets closer.

Coming in at 6-foot-5 and weighing 322 pounds, he has good size for the NFL. Another thing teams will like about Bergeron is that he’s been a starter since his freshman year. That year saw him as the starting right tackle before he moved over to left tackle, where he’s been ever since. 

He’s been called a “smooth operator”. Bergeron is a smart player who utilizes excellent body control and good mobility. However, there is some concern that he can only play in a zone-rushing offense and may have to move inside to guard. These concerns could really limit the number of teams that would be interested.

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