Chris Ballard: It’s not going to be easy to replace Anthony Castonzo

Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo elected to retire following the 2020 season, leaving a significant void on the team’s offensive line.

Indianapolis signed former Chargers left tackle Sam Tevi and former Texans and Dolphins tackle Julién Davenport in free agency, both to one-year deals.

Those two are the options for now, with the Colts selecting at No. 21 overall in the first round next week. But in his pre-draft press conference, General Manager Chris Ballard set out that the club isn’t expecting a simple, quick solution to left tackle.

“Well, when you have a special player like Anthony Castonzo retire … I don’t think he’s ever gotten enough credit for how really special he was as a player,” Ballard said Friday. “He stood for everything we wanted to stand for, Anthony did. And he was good. I mean, I always thought he was a top five left tackle in the league. I think we paid him accordingly — that told you what we thought of him. And he performed.

“So, that’s not going to be an easy replacement. Saying that, I mean, I think I’ve [said] all along, that I think we’ve got four really good linemen — before free agency started. We’ve signed a couple veterans. Tevi, who’s started a lot of games for the Chargers. Julién’s played in this league. And we think they’re good players. We will create competition at left tackle and we’ll get the best five players on the field.”

Tevi has 44 career starts since the Chargers selected him in the sixth round of the 2017 draft. Davenport has started 28 games with 51 career appearances, including nine in the last two years with Miami.