Ok, with minicamp gone, we now approach the "dark days" of the NFL experience. Yes, there are still some exciting stories between now and July 24th (like the possible Super Bowl bid), but really from now until the start of training camp, there really isn't a ton of Colts-related news. So, I'm going to take a page out of cgolden's and shake n bake's book and make occasional guesses as to what the 53 man roster will look like come September.
Why? Well, because I like to write, and other than making up facts about the Marvin Harrison shooting incident, there ain't much else to yack about.
I'm not going to guess the practice squad. I leave that for more advanced guessers like mgrex30 or shake n bake. My focus is on the 53 man active roster. And, like the draft, unless the roster spot is blatantly obvious, I will likely be completely wrong in my roster assessment. Remember, two years ago Corey Simon was a lock at starting DT nd the Colts were a-okay replacing David Thornton with Gilbert Gardner. Last year, Anthony McFarland was the unquestioned savior at DT, and DeDe Dorsey was going to light the world on fire backing up Joesph Addai.
QBs: (2) - Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi
I'd like the Colts to make a play for someone like Chris Simms after he will get cut by Tampa Bay. But, until then, Jim Sorgi is the back-up. Josh Betts and Adam Trafalis need to play Montana-like in the pre-season to even get practice squad consideration. Remember, back in 2006, Shaun King completely outplayed Jim Sorgi in pre-season and still got cut. Shaun King is now the only ESPN football analyst who doesn't sound like an idiot when he talks.
RBs: (3) - Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes, Mike Hart
Kenton Keith is getting cut. He would have to dominate pre-season in a way so utterly mind-blowing that it would rip the space-time continuum. Clifton Dawson or Chad Simpson might get PSed.
FBs: (1) - Luke Lawton
I'll include Lawton here, for now. If Mike Hart is truly getting used like James Mungro used to, it is doubtful the Colts will retain a FB.
WRs: (6) - Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Devin Aromashodu, Roy Hall, Pierre Garcon
The Colts like Aromashodu, and Hall looks like he's ready to take the next step. Rudy Burgess gets PSed, most likely.
TEs: (4) - Dallas Clark, Tom Santi, Jacob Tamme, Justin Snow
They didn't draft Santi and Tamme just to play Special Teams. Santi is Utecht's replacement, and Tamme will work as the H-Back, especially near the goal line. Snow is a TE in name only as his primary job is long snapping for kicks and punts.
OL: (9) - Tony Ugoh, Jeff Saturday, Ryan Diem, Ryan Lilja, Mike Pollak, Charlie Johnson, Michael Toudouze, Daniel Federkeil, Steve Justice
Absent from here is 7th round draft pick Jamey Richard, who will likely get PSed. Charlie Johnson assumes Dylan Gandy's old role of "play him anywhere" while Toudouze and Federkeil work as back-up OTs.
DT: (5) - Ed Johnson, Quinn Pitcock, Keyunta Dawson, Darrell Reid, Eric Foster
That's right! Five DTs on the active roster. Johnson and Raheem Brock (who is listed here as a DE) will likely start, but with this much depth the Colts will likely use a lot of rotation at the DT position. Against teams that like to run, Brock will get placed a DE and both Johnson and Pitcock (snicker) wil start at DT. Darrell Reid is a special teams demon.
DE: (5) - Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Marcus Howard, Raheem Brock, Josh Thomas
Lots of speed and pass rushing ability with this unit, and if Indy signs someone like Rosevelt Colvin, I (sadly) think a solid player like Josh Thomas gets the boot.
OLB: (4) - Freddie Keiaho, Tyjuan Hagler, Clint Session, Ramon Guzman
Keiaho needs to play a full season healthy. He injured his elbow in Week One last year, and it lingered all throughout the 2007 season. Session was a steal in the 2007 Draft, and could play WILL and MIKE linebacker positions. Hagler has yet to show me why the Colts picked him to play SAM over Rocky Boiman. Hagler doesn't "suck" or anything, but I have yet to see him make any big plays. Guzman is a good special teams player.
ILB: (2) - Gary Brackett, Philip Wheeler
The Colts typically do not carry a lot of LBers because of Bob Sanders, who they often play down in the box in Cover 3. Wheeler might be Brackett's primary back-up, but I wouldn't be surprised if Session or Keiaho are used a bit at MLBer.
CBs: (6) - Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden, Dante Hughes, Tim Jennings, Michael Coe, TJ Rushing
This group is very deep. Rushing improved dramatically last season, playing solid at nickel corner and returning punts and kicks. Jennings will likely lose his nickel back spot to Hughes, but still, this is a very solid unit.
FS/SS: (4) - Bob Sanders, Antoine Bethea, Matt Giordano, Brandon Condren
Like the CBs, this group is very talented and deep, featuring the Defensive Player of the Year (Sanders) and Pro Bowler Antoine Bethea. Giordano could start for a team like the NY Giants and play at a high level. He is an asset as a back-up safety. Condren is there for special teams play.
Specialists: (2) - Adam Vinatieri, Hunter Smith
Vinatieri will return to his money self this year, especially if his line can prevent his kicks from getting blocked. Smith is a solid punter, but he needs to stop out-punting his coverage.
So, there it is. Discuss.