The first MAC prospect from the 2019 season is off the board at the NFL Draft.
Ball State offensive tackle Danny Pinter is the newest member of the Indianapolis Colts, which drafted him 149th overall in the fifth round of the 2020 draft. Pinter, a South Bend, IN native travels about 150 miles south of his hometown and 65 miles southwest of his college campus to join the lone NFL team in the Hoosier State.
Pinter raised eyebrows as one of the quickest and most agile linemen in the draft. The former Ball State standout ran the second fastest 40-yard dash time out of all linemen at the NFL Combine in February. Completing the 40 yards in 4.91 seconds, only 13th overall pick Tristan Wirfs led Pinter the category. Pinter also elevated his draft stock by proving his excellent footwork with a 7.76 three-cone drill time and a 4.62 20-yard shuttle.
A two-year tight end at Ball State (9 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD in 2016 and 2017), Pinter moved to right tackle in 2018 and finished his Cardinal career working the trenches. In 2019, Pinter landed a First Team All-MAC selection and led Ball State to the 22nd best rushing offense in the FBS. The Cardinals caught fire in conference play, and surpassed the 200-yard mark in seven of eight games against MAC opponents. Pinter still utilized his tight end abilities a senior, catching a screen pass for a 5-yard touchdown against Central Michigan last November.
Pinter is the first Ball State NFL Draft selection since 2014, when defensive end Jonathan Newsome and quarterback Keith Wenning went off the board in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively. He is the first Cardinal to be selected since Mike Neu took over as head coach in 2016, and he is the first Ball State offensive lineman to be selected since the Cowboys selected tackle Robert Brewster in the third round in 2009.
Pinter, measured at 6’4” and 306 pounds, joins a Colts offensive line which finished in the top 10 in fewest sacks allowed last year. Led by longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo and a budding star in left guard Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis houses one of the more formidable units in the league. Pinter is most familiar with the right tackle position on the offensive line, where he’ll likely learn under 2018 second round pick Braden Smith, who started all 16 games for the Colts last year.