|Posted by Andrew Aziz on March 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM|
For the next several days leading up to the start of free agency, I will be breaking down the potential free agents for the Colts. This entry is about Andy Levitre, the unrestricted free agent offensive guard for the Buffalo Bills.
Overview: Levitre is a very underrated guard for the Buffalo Bills. Levitre was highly hyped out of college, and was named one of the best guards in his class. He was great as a rookie, and has only gotten better. Levitre is a very good athletic guard, who specializes in pass blocking. He needs a bit of improvement as a run blocker, but he's pretty solid there. Levitre can be a very good starter on most teams.
Strengths: As mentioned before, Levitre is a fantastic pass blocker, the best in this free agent class and one of the best in the league (guard wise). He knows how to eliminate any interior pressure, that includes blitzes. I've seen many teams bring blitzes up the middle and he was able to control it and not get through. Fitzpatrick was only sacked 30 times last year, and that's partly due to the play of the interior of their O-line, which includes Levitre. He's a smart lineman too, that will call out blitzes and make other reads before the play.
Weaknesses: I can't necessarily say it's a weakness, but his run blocking is definitely not as good as his pass blocking. It's not bad, it's just not great. He wasn't near the top when it came to run blocking, and I've seen a few defensive tackles take advantage of him up the middle. He needs to work on his run blocking, but that's it.
How he fits in the Colts' System: He fits in 2 ways. The first way he fits is that the Colts are a pass heavy offense, and he's a pass blocking specialist. If the Colts throw the ball around 40 times, then we'll really see the impact of Levitre. You wouldn't see his impact as much in a run heavy system, which is why I think he's underrated in Buffalo, because they run the ball a lot. The other way he fits is that the Colts are most likely switching to a zone/stretch blocking scheme because of the new offense. Levitre played in that type of system in Buffalo, which would make the transition quite easy.
Final Thoughts: With the interior of the Colts' O-line being the top need on the Colts, Levitre would be a huge boost for the Colts. The play from the guards was absolutely awful and they need help badly. He fits in the system, and will help out the Colts in the passing game. The Colts would only benefit from having him, because even if Levitre plays mediocrely, he's still better than guys like Reitz or McGlynn.
Grade: 9.13/10 (Top 10 Guard, Top 35 Offensive Lineman)
What I'd Offer Him: 3 years, $21.5 million deal (Making him the 7th highest paid guard)