"Things worked out beautifully" for the Colts, according to head coach Jim Caldwell, and team vice chairman Bill Polian said it was a "pleasant surprise" that Castonzo — the second-ranked tackle in the draft by many sources, including Scout com — was available at No. 22.
With several teams needing help at tackle, the Colts didn't expect Castonzo to be available when they made their pick.
"We spent the last four days working up scenarios, and [Castonzo's] name was never mentioned," Bill Polian said "We never considered he would be there."
But four quarterbacks went in the first 12 picks, and New England chose Colorado's Nate Solder over Castonzo when they took a tackle at No 17 When Cleveland traded into the spot ahead of the Colts, taking Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor, the massive 6-foot-7, 311-pound Castonzo fell into the Colts' lap.
"We were very happy and fortunate that things broke the way they did," general manager Chris Polian said. "Probably the quarterbacks being taken in the round helped push some of the offensive and defensive linemen down, and that's what we believe made them available to us at our spot."
Castonzo is an enticing prospect for a that has been searching for a permanent solution at left tackle since Tarik Glenn retired following the 2006 season.
"It stops some of the musical chairs and gives us an anchor at the position," Chris Polian said.
Castonzo was certainly an anchor at Boston College, starting every game in his four-year career at Boston College He was called "perhaps the most NFL-ready left tackle" in the draft by Scout com NFL Expert John Crist.
And the way the Colts were talking following the pick, Castonzo had better be NFL ready, because the left tackle job will be his to lose when football activities resume.
"He's 'in' at left tackle at this point," Chris Polian said. "We feel confident he'll be able to come in and help us at that position."
Caldwell echoed those thoughts, calling Castonzo an "excellent pass protector" and "smart."
"I'm excited about him," Caldwell said. "It's an area we certainly wanted to shore up and have identified, and we were able to get a real fine football player I think without question he'll help us a tremendous amount, and it's a great start [to the draft.]"
The draft continues Friday night with the third and fourth rounds. The Colts hold the 21st pick in the second round (No. 53 overall) and the 23rd pick in the third round (No. 87 overall).
Adding to the excitement around the team is that the Colts' training facility on West 56th Street will be open Friday for players to return to for the first time since the lockout began.
"For us [coaches], it's normal, everyday life," Caldwell said. "We'll get to see some guys we haven't seen in a while, but we're in draft mode too We'll juggle the two ... but we're off to a great start."
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