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Colts' 2022 training camp preview: Interior offensive line – Colts Wire

The Indianapolis Colts are less than two weeks away from the start of training camp at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield.
With a new quarterback in town for the fifth consecutive season, the offensive line is also expecting to look a bit different than it did in 2021. The core of the group remains intact, but one spot on the interior will have a new starter.
The departure of Mark Glowinski, who signed with the New York Giants, and Chris Reed, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings, left a void at the starting right guard spot this offseason.
Be sure to check out the other position previews ahead of training camp:
Wrapping up the offensive side of the ball, this preview will focus on the guard and center positions:
AP Photo/Adrian Kraus
Not much really needs to be said about Nelson that Colts fans don’t already know. He’s among the elite interior offensive line players going into his fifth season. While our friends at Touchdown Wire have him ranked as the No. 3 interior offensive lineman, ESPN’s rankings have him at No. 1.
Nelson is coming off of a down year in terms of his standards. He missed four games during the regular season—the first time he’s ever done that in his career. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed 15 total pressures and one sack. Despite that being a “down year,” 31 other teams would pay big money to have that kind of production on the interior.
The big thing to watch with Nelson is his contract. He’s currently playing on the fifth-year option from his rookie deal but should be getting a market-setting extension relatively soon. It isn’t clear when that will get done, but expect it to get done before next offseason arrives.
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Despite being named to the Pro Bowl, it was a down year for Kelly. He was still the anchor of the offensive line, but the numbers suggest it wasn’t his best campaign.
In his 14 games played, Kelly’s 29 pressures allowed were the second-most among centers, according to Pro Football Focus. He also allowed three sacks, which were tied for the sixth-most among centers. How much of that was Kelly and how much of that was Carson Wentz? We may never truly know.
But Kelly certainly enters training camp looking to prove that the 2022 season was a fluke when it comes to his pass protection.
AP Photo/Darryl Webb
This is where the interior offensive line gets interesting. Pinter is expected to get the first crack at being the starting right guard, and he’s likely the favorite to win the job. The Colts drafted him in the fifth round of the 2020 draft for this exact reason after giving him roughly two years of development.
As far as projections go, Pinter is expected to be the starter. But he may have some competition in rookie Bernhard Raimann—if he’s not the left tackle—along with 2021 seventh-round pick Will Fries and veteran guard Jason Spriggs.
Entering training camp, Pinter should be viewed as the favorite given his supreme athleticism and what we’ve seen in a limited sample thus far. But he still has to win the job during training camp and the preseason.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Fries was drafted by the Colts in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL draft. Though he only appeared in three games and totaled 22 offensive snaps during his rookie season, he was up on the active roster for the entire campaign. That may not sound significant, but it is when it comes to a seventh-round selection.
Fries may not be viewed as the favorite for a starting role, but the Penn State product shouldn’t be slept on. He will have to prove he’s worthy of a roster spot—as most seventh-round picks do every year of their careers—and he may have to move around the offensive line in order to do so.
But Fries will be an interesting player to watch throughout training camp because he may wind up holding a valuable depth role along the interior.
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A late addition to the roster this offseason, Spriggs signed with the Colts in June after spending the 2021 season working with quarterback Matt Ryan in Atlanta.
The 28-year-old was a second-round pick with the Green Bay Packers out of Indiana during the 2016 NFL draft. Despite the high draft capital, Spriggs has just 10 starts under his belt for his career and has seen the majority of his work come from the tackle positions.
But the Colts value versatility when it comes to their offensive linemen so his path to making the roster likely comes along the interior.
Seltzner joined the Colts this offseason out of Wisconsin as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2022 NFL draft. He’s a pretty solid athlete when it comes to explosiveness and lateral movement, but the offensive line may simply be too crowded for him to make the roster from the jump. There is some intrigue to the point where he could wind up on the practice squad, though.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
French, another undrafted rookie free agent, joined the Colts this offseason coming from a smaller program in Western Michigan. An elite athlete, French is likely competing for the backup center role, which is currently up in the air. He is 26 years old after spending five seasons in college while also only appearing in 26 career games at Western Michigan. It will be an uphill battle for him to make the roster, but the athleticism is at least intriguing.
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Taking a look at the OTs entering training camp.
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