The Indianapolis Colts were more than pleased with what they accomplished last season – the turnaround from a disastrous year and the immediate impact of Andrew Luck exceeded expectations. Still, they no their number one need for next year is improving the offensive line, and Andy Levitre from the Buffalo Bills might be the right man for the job.
Levitre doesn’t get too much appreciation outside the league, but the four-year veteran hasn’t missed a single game for the Bills over the last four seasons at left guard, and is one of the top 10 players in his position not just in the upcoming free agency period, but in the entire NFL, according to quite a few ranking systems.
Andrew Luck was sacked 41 times last season, one of the worst protection record in the NFL. The Bills? Their offensive line allowed only 30 sacks, ranking them in the top 10 among the hardest to breach through offensive lines in the league. Levitre was a big part of that, and his age (26) and durability make him a very coveted man in the free agency market, especially for teams like the Colts looking for drastic improvement.
The Colts offense calls for its offensive linemen to be able to play in space on wide receiver and running back screens, and Levitre has enough athleticism to latch onto defenders downfield. Levitre is more than athletic enough to answer those requirements.
Meanwhile, the Colts, with plenty of cap space to work with, have more than just one need at the offensive line if they’re to strengthen the wall that protects Andrew Luck, and that’s why Louis Vasquez, the San Diego Chargers’ left guard, also hitting free agency, might be another big signing they make in order to ensure Luck doesn’t get flattened on his back too often in 2013, and the Colts do more than just make the postseason.