INDIANAPOLIS – With a mindset to have multi-positional players along the offensive line, the Colts struck with the 59th pick in the draft by taking tackle/guard Jack Mewhort of Ohio State.
Mewhort, 6-6, 309, started the final 39 games of his career, lining up at left tackle for a combined 26 starts as a junior and senior. He added five starts at left guard and eight more at right guard as a sophomore.
Mewhort was an All-American center at St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo before attending Ohio State.
Mewhort joins an Indianapolis team that had bookend 16-game starters at tackle with Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus in 2013.
The interior of the line found four different starting left guards, while three players opened at right guard and two at center. The line started seven different combinations last season.
"They just took me as an offensive lineman. I'm the kind of guy you can put me in a direction and I'll figure it out and I'll go play it," said Mewhort. "I'm not sure I have a specific position pegged down right now. I'm confident I can excel along the offensive line. I think it's to be determined a specific position for me. I know I'm going to camp and work hard."
Mewhort will team with Andrew Luck, a player he considers among the league's top performers.
"It's very exciting. He's the best young quarterback in the game right now," said Mewhort. "To get an opportunity to go to work with him every day is going to be very exciting. I'm grateful for the opportunity. He's not going anywhere. They have a lot of great, talented players on that team. I'm ready to get to work, start going."
Mewhort played right tackle and guard at the Senior Bowl and snapped at his Pro Day, and he says he is comfortable anywhere. That comfort comes through confidence and experience.
"I think it's I have an open mind and the ability to learn," said Mewhort. "I think I can catch on quickly. I'm not necessarily built like some of these freak left tackles out there. I've never been pegged as a guy like that.
"Through my career I shifted a lot. Picking up experiences and even playing shotgun center in high school gave me a lot of experience. In my brain I have that knowledge, and I can apply it."
Indianapolis seeks a power running game and started last season well that way with at least 25 rushes and a 4.5 average in four straight outings, a first in more than 30 years.
The club's early 150-yard and 5.0 rushing averages waned to 108.9 and 4.3 over the season, but upheavals with tight ends, running backs and receivers also influenced production.
Indianapolis has ranked 22nd and tied for 20th in rushing the last two seasons, while its sacks allowed dropped from 41-to-32 in that span. One NFL analytic site placed the Colts 30th with 109 quarterback hits.
Ryan Grigson has been peppered all spring about the club's situation on the line. The club did not retain center Samson Satele or right guard Mike McGlynn, two-season starters in Indianapolis.
Second-year pro Khaled Holmes has a chance to earn the starting center position. A key free agency signing, Phil Costa, did not pan out.
The Colts hope to return a healthy Donald Thomas to the lineup. Thomas was a big-ticket UFA last season who opened at left guard before suffering a season-ending injury in week two.
Grigson was asked prior to the draft if he had warmed to the idea of starting a rookie lineman.
"There's a lot going on on the offensive line," said Grigson. "There's a lot to know, and there's a lot of things to overcome and adapt to in a game environment just from a mental standpoint. It's still I think a (hard) learning curve."