News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Colts

April 29, 2011

Colts draft offensive lineman Castonzo in first round

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts did the expected in the first round of the National Football League draft Thursday night, selecting former Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo with the 22nd overall pick.

Castonzo, who grew up in the Chicago area and attended Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School, was rated as one of the top four prospects available in this year’s draft.

When Southern Cal’s Tyron Smith went to Dallas with the ninth overall spot and Colorado’s Nate Solder was selected by New England at No. 17, the Colts were in prime position to take the athletic 6-foot-7, 311-pound offensive lineman.

“I am excited. This is unbelievable. I didn’t know where I would end up at, but I’m excited about it,” Castonzo said in a telephone interview. “I get to block for the best quarterback in the league. [I] get to go to a great team already, which is unbelievable. So I am very excited.

 “I am up for the task. I know that they’re going to expect a lot of me and I expect to be able to do it. I’m going to have to learn a lot I’m sure. But I’d love to be able to start.”

With the addition of Castonzo to the roster, Indianapolis is in a position to move incumbent left offensive tackle starter Charlie Johnson to another position. Johnson could move inside to offensive guard or battle starter Ryan Diem at right offensive tackle.

“Other positions [on the offensive line] will have to work itself out. But [drafting Castonzo] will stop some of the musical chairs that we’ve been forced to do,” vice president and general manager Chris Polian said.

“We were very fortunate and very happy to be in position [to take the Boston College offensive lineman]. He was the best player available when we drafted. We had two offensive tackles rated on the same line [on the Colts’ draft board] and he was still there. With three or four picks [left], we knew that we were going to get a very good player.”

Indianapolis has five more picks in the remaining two days of the draft, including two selections (No. 53 in the second round and No. 87 in the third round) Friday evening.

“We’re looking for improvement all across the board and this is a great start,” Colts coach Jim Caldwell said of the addition of Castonzo.

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