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Colts position recap: Offensive Line

2023 marked a big improvement by the Colts' offensive line. Per Pro Football Focus, they had a higher pass block grade and run block grade and allowed fewer sacks than they did in 2022.

On the field

Table inside Article
Player Snap Count Pass Block Grade (per PFF) Run Block Grade (per PFF) Sacks Allowed
Jack Anderson 0 N/A N/A 0
Blake Freeland 665 40.9 47.5 4
Wesley French 260 57.0 47.5 1
Will Fries 1,072 67.9 59.9 4
Arlington Hambright 6 N/A 67.4 0
Ryan Kelly 839 79.4 79.1 1
Danny Pinter 0 N/A N/A 0
Quenton Nelson 1,088 82.7 64.4 1
Bernhard Raimann 970 81.5 75.8 4
Josh Sills 36 48.8 59.9 0
Braden Smith 547 72.2 90.5 0
Jared Veldheer 0 N/A N/A 0
Jake Witt 0 N/A N/A 0

Review of the 2023 season

After a disappointing 2022 campaign, the Colts remained confident in their offensive line. Their decision to stand pat with the same starters proved to be the right one, as the offensive line played significantly better in 2023.

"Just the way they played together. They fought for each other. They were on the same page. The communication was great," head coach Shane Steichen said. "Ryan Kelly being the veteran that he is, and Quenton was awesome. Guys like Will Fries, Bernie and Freeland had to play a ton, Braden Smith and the moving parts – Tony (Sparano Jr.), our line coach, pulling that thing tight in there. Those guys playing for one another was awesome to see. You could see it on the field. You could feel it in here in the building, but they showed up every Sunday and played their tails off."

Here's how their performance this season compares to 2022:

A look back at some of the best shots of the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line from the 2023 season.

Table inside Article
Statistical Category 2022 2023
Pass Block Grade (per PFF) 58.1 74.1
Run Block Grade (per PFF) 70.5 71.1
Sacks Allowed (per PFF) 40 17

2024 Outlook

All of the Colts' starting offensive linemen are slated to return in 2024, with Danny Pinter and Jack Anderson as the group's only free agents. They will also get rookie tackle Jake Witt back from the injured reserve list.

In the event that one of their starters can't play, this season showed that they've got solid depth players who can step in when need be. Second-string center Wesley French started three games in place of Ryan Kelly. When injuries kept tackles Bernhard Raimann and Braden Smith off the field, rookie Blake Freeland stepped in.

Despite facing a gauntlet of the NFL's top pass rushers which included T.J. Watt, Brian Burns and Myles Garrett, the Colts were inspired by Freeland's performance.

"I don't care who the tackle is when you're lining up against Myles Garrett, that's not easy," general manager Chris Ballard said. "But there never was the look of doubt or despair in his eyes and that's an encouraging thing. He will get better and he will continue to grow and it will be fun to watch him this offseason."

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