INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts had a clear goal in the 2018 NFL Draft: get better up front.
On the offensive side of the ball, the team used two of its first three picks — and two of the first 37 picks in the entire draft — to bolster the interior of its offensive line, selecting All-American guards Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith.
On Wednesday, the Colts continued to chip away at that very same approach.
The team announced the signing of veteran free agent tackle Austin Howard. In a corresponding move, the Colts waived guard Isaiah Williams.
Howard, 31, provides 92 games — and 88 starts — worth of NFL experience to the Indianapolis offensive front. A Northern Iowa product, he went undrafted back in 2010 but has since played with the Philadelphia Eagles (2010), New York Jets (2011-13), Oakland Raiders (2014-16) and, most recently, with the Baltimore Ravens, where he started all 16 games at right tackle in 2017.
In 2016, Howard was a key part of a Raiders offensive line that allowed a league-low 18 sacks.
Howard comes to the Colts looking to win a starting job at right tackle, a position that is wide open heading into the midway point of Phase 2 of the team’s offseason workout program.
While it would appear left tackle (Anthony Castonzo), left guard (Nelson), center (Ryan Kelly) and right guard (battle between Smith/Matt Slauson/Jack Mewhort) mostly are set, the right tackle position is there for the taking between the likes of Howard, Joe Haeg, Denzelle Good, Le'Raven Clark and others.
Jeremy Vujnovich, who started all 16 games at left guard for the Colts last season, also has some position flexibility.
Anthony Fabiano, Deyshawn Bond, Mark Glowinski and Tyreek Burwell are also competing for jobs along the Colts’ offensive line this offseason heading into training camp.