Written By Cody Manning, @CodyTalksNFL
Training camps can’t get here any faster!!! We find ourselves in the deadest point of the NFL calendar as the news comes in slow and everyone is waiting for the season to begin. But before that happens, teams will need to go through camp and the preseason to help determine who should be on their opening day roster. The Colts will have a lot of tough decisions to make when it is cut day, particularly compared to one year ago. I take my guess at who I believe will end up on the team and facing the Chargers come Week 1.
Overview: Well, this is pretty easy. Luck is the face of the franchise and Brissett is one of the best backups in the league. Barring an injury to a quarterback, Brissett will back up Luck for another season.
Overview: The coaching staff has been adamant about Mack and Hines roles within there offense, as well as their desire to be a top 5 rushing offense in the NFL. Wilkins should have a similar role as he did last year and help spell Mack when he is needed. I believe Ware makes it as a veteran depth piece that has shown in the past that he can fill in if he is needed.
Overview: The receiving corps will be an interesting one to watch develop in the preseason as Indianapolis brought in some competition this offseason. Hilton, Funchess, and Campbell are all locks to be on the roster. Cain is a player the coaching staff is ecstatic about, but he could be a PUP candidate if he hasn’t fully recovered from his ACL tear. Rogers is a veteran on the Colts roster, but after a subpar 2018 campaign, his spot could be on the line this year.
Overview: Ebron, Doyle, and Alie-Cox are arguably the best set of tight ends in the NFL. Ebron will still have his role as the receiving tight end, but Doyle offers the Colts more flexibility as he can be used all over the offense. Alie-Cox has been having a solid spring and could have a bigger role this year. Indy has to be pretty happy with this group heading into the season.
Overview: Castonzo and Smith developed into one of the best bookend tackles in the NFL last season. Their jobs are secure as they help anchor the line and kept Luck healthy last year. Haeg is a solid depth piece for the Colts as he can also slide inside if needed. Clark does have playing experience which helps favor him.
Overview: Nelson and Glowinski are locked to return to their starting positions. Andrews makes the team because of his versatility to play guard or center.
Overview: Kelly has developed into one of the better centers in the league, but he does have injury concerns which Boehm helped out with when Kelly was out last year. Boehm’s versatility to kick out to guard provides even more value to the Colts.
Overview: This is a position group that was a little difficult to figure out. One would assume that Houston and Sheard have their spots on this roster. Turay is entering his 2nd season after showing some promise in his rookie year. Muhammed was an under-the-radar player that was a big part of the Colts defense last year and has earned his spot on the roster. I’m not sure what Chris Ballard will list Benogu as, but he has been spending time prepping to rush the quarterback in the spring so I placed him in this group.
Overview: Autry, Lewis, and Hunt offer the Colts the versatility because of their ability to line up anywhere on their defensive front-four. Stewart is a nice depth piece that can help stop the run.
Overview: The Colts may want to keep 6 linebackers on the roster but I considered the fact that there was the talk of Banogu playing all over their defense, including at the backer position. There is a lot more competition in this group compared to last year and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Overview: Moore, Desir, Wilson, and Ya-Sin all have their places on the roster but the backend of the corner group will be the battle to watch during the preseason. It could come down to who will contribute more to special teams. I think they lean towards Hairston’s experience and give the rookie a shot to prove himself.
Overview: Indy had to deal with a number of injuries to the safety position last year and Ballard shouldn’t want to have to deal with that again. I think that leads to five safeties making this year’s team.
Overview: There is nothing to see here, all three have their spots on the roster.
Breakout Player: Tyquan Lewis
Comeback Player: Jack Doyle
Rising Star: Kemoko Turay
Player to not Forget About: Anthony Walker
Player in the Hot Seat: Chester Rogers
Under the Radar: Quincy Wilson
Dark Horse MVP: Malik Hooker