- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS – Offensive tackle? Or is he a guard? No, wait, he’s a center, right?
Mewhort, the No. 59 overall pick Friday, has played all those positions at some point between high school and at Ohio State, and the Colts like him because of his versatility along the line.
"We’ll get him in here and it’ll figure itself out, but we’ll find him a spot to start at then let him go to work," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He’s a dang good football player. He’s big, he’s tough, he’s smart, he loves football, fits our culture, fits our environment. He’s a horseshoe guy.
"What I live, he’s got nasty, he’s tough and you’ve got to have that on the offensive line."
What about you, Jack, what position do you envision playing in the NFL?
"I’m the type of guy that you point me in the direction and I’ll figure it out and I’ll go play it," he said. "I’m not sure I’ve got a specific position pegged down right now, but I know and I’m confident that I can excel at different ones along the offensive line."
The goal is to have flexibility along the offensive line for the Colts. Mewhort played guard and tackle during the Senior Bowl.
The Colts were one of two teams to lose at least three offensive linemen that played at least 300 snaps without signing a player during free agency, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Indianapolis signed center Phil Costa, but he surprised many by deciding to retire last month.
"It’s so tough in this league to have continuity on the offensive line because of so many injuries," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. "Position flex is what separates if you look at some of the teams that go deep in to the playoffs every year, they have tremendous position flex and versatility on their offensive line.
"To do that, you need smart guys that know how to play the game and Jack’s one of those guys."
The ultimate goal is to make sure Mewhort and the rest of the offensive linemen protect their franchise player, quarterback Andrew Luck, better. Luck has been sacked 73 times in two seasons. Sometimes you wonder how he manages to consistently pull himself off the ground after taking all those hits.
"I think that as long as he’s healthy and upright, and he’s got great protection, and he’s got enough weapons surrounding him, we’ll probably be here for a long time," Pagano said.
1dEric D. Williams
1dEric D. Williams