To block for Manning
Castonzo picked by Colts
Boston College tackle off the board at No. 22
To block for Manning
Anthony Castonzo was prepared. As usual.
The 6-foot-7-inch, 311-pound tackle, who spent the last four seasons as the anchor of Boston College’s offensive line, had the food and drink ready to go at his Illinois home. He had been projected to be selected last night anywhere from the top 10 to the end of the first round.
He had his cellphone next to him as he watched the first round unfold. He also had no idea of when the call would come.
“I had six individual workouts,’’ Castonzo said. “But the only team that I actually visited was the Cowboys. It’s been kind of fun really, guessing as to where I wind up playing.’’
At approximately 10:30, Castonzo stopped guessing when the Colts selected him 22d overall.
As is often the case with first-round hopefuls, Castonzo had to endure a series of emotional jolts. The first came when the Cowboys, choosing ninth overall, opted for Southern Cal tackle Tyron Smith.
That was not unexpected. At No. 15, the Dolphins also chose an offensive lineman, going with Florida guard Mike Pouncey. A few minutes later, the Patriots were on the clock at 17, and Castonzo knew they were considering a tackle. But instead of Castonzo, they opted for Colorado’s Nate Solder.
The Giants had the 19th pick and were also thought to be considering an offensive tackle. Again, Castonzo’s phone didn’t ring, as the Giants went for defense, selecting Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Kansas City, selecting at No. 21, seemed another possibility, but the Chiefs traded their pick to the Browns, who selected Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
More waiting. But Castonzo’s phone did ring, with the Colts telling him he was their choice at No. 22 to help protect quarterback Peyton Manning.
Castonzo stood up and led the cheers as his family and friends began the celebration.
Afterward, Castonzo acknowledged that the waiting was starting to get to him. “I was so hyped up,’’ he said. “And the longer it took, I just started wondering what was going on.’’
That doubt increased when the Patriots and Giants passed on him. “I thought, well, the Colts are coming up next, wouldn’t it be something if they picked me and I could be blocking for Peyton,’’ said Castonzo. “The funny thing was that I had had limited contact with them. I talked to some people from the Colts at the Senior Bowl and that was about it. I was just hoping they would call.’’
The Colts did call Castonzo, who said he hopes to fit into their system as quickly as he can.
“We had about 80 people here tonight,’’ said Castonzo. “It was pretty crazy. Now I can’t wait to get started.’’
Mark Blaudschun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.