The finality to the trilogy of the “best of” series for the offensive lines concludes with the tackle position. Tackles have been strong positions of play for the Colts over the years. Last year, the Colts best offensive lineman were Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherlius, both of whom are tackles from Boston College taken in the first round.
Castonzo was drafted by the Colts in 2010 while Cherilus was drafted in 2008 by the Lions. Past great tackles included Tarik Glenn and Ryan Diem who protected Peyton Manning and opened up the run lanes for Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai throughout the years. They kept Peyton off the ground helped assisted him to four NFL titles as well as a Super Bowl championship in 2006.
Speaking of which, they come in at third, tied, in the list of best tackles the Colts drafted.
Tarik Glenn and Ryan Diem were drafted four years apart in 1997 and 2001 respectively. They played together for five years consistently protecting the edges for Peyton Manning. Glenn’s last season would be the Colts Super Bowl championship season in 2006 as he would retire shortly thereafter. Glenn would start every game in his career from the left tackle position with only one season cut short due to injury.
As for Ryan Diem, he played consistently throughout his career, missing some games here and there but being a lock at the right tackle position. After the Colts 2009 AFC Championship season, Diem’s skill set would hit a nose dive and would become a liability for the Colts as he wouldn’t be as protective as open up the run lanes as much as he did in seasons past.
Next, we will look at a player who never played a down for the Colts but still deserves a place on this list.
Ron Mix would be the second best offensive tackle that they would draft. He would be selected number one in the 1960 draft however would elect to go play for the AFL. He would play for the Chargers in the 1960s and would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He would be the first Charger to have his number retired.
The best tackle drafted by the Colts had played every game for the Colts during the early NFL days and is a Hall of Famer.
Jim Parker played for the Colts from 1957-1967 and was a first round pick. He would be a consistent starter during his eleven year career until injury cut his final year short and would retire shortly thereafter. He would be a ten time All Pro selection as well as a two time NFL champion. His jersey would also be retired as well.
Thankfully, this is one position of the oft-noted offensive line over the years that has remained a constant throughout the years. This position isn’t a position the Colts need to focus on in free agency or the draft. Depth is always nice but the name of the game is consistency. If you are not consistent in solid play in the NFL, you are simply expendable hence why the Colts released Samson Satele.
The more the Colts bolster their offensive line, the better the play will be for both Castonzo and Cherilus.