First off, I'm writing this on my phone, and ever since it upgraded from Android 4.0 to 4.1 it hasn't been autocorrecting. I apologize for any mispellings or typos.
That said, I'm interested in which sophomores you all will be watching closest this season. The obvious answer is Andrew Luck, so let's leave him out of the conversation for now. Of all the other rookies playing for the Colts in 2012, which are you most anxious to see develop?
I'm torn between a couple. Topping my list is Josh Chapman. He's sort of a mythical figure at this point--a physically overwhelming messiah who will come to save our defense. There is no way he will live up to expectations that have been hyperinflated by almost a full year of speculation about his play. In many ways, I think many fans (myself included) have burdened him with more unrealistic expectations than we did Andrew Luck; at least we all acknowledged Luck was a rookie and was entitled to make some rookie mistakes. Unless we take Jenkins, Williams, or Hankins with our first pick the stakes will be high for Chapman. Fail and odds are our defense doesn't see any significant improvement on first and second down. Succeed and all of the sudden we have a reliable defensive line.
Next up for me might be a curveball. It's a tie between two players: LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen. If either of those two build on the promise they showed last regular and, in Whalen's case, pre season and we don't need to go find a #2 receiver anymore. I don't think either will become a true top target, but I could see one of them becoming an above-average #2. It's worth mentioning here that Hilton growing into a #2 role and one of those guys becoming a slot specialist (currently Hilton's bread and butter) would net the same result.
Finally, I will be watching Jerrell Freeman. Technically he wasn't a rookie because he came from the CFL, but he was an NFL rookie. Is he another Angerer: over achieving but not an impact player? Or will he continue to grow into a feature line backer? He has certainly flashed that playmaking ability, and I can't help being giddy at the thought of what he could do with another offseason of coaching and (hopefully) a proper NT eating up blocks for him.
The two most notable absences from this list are our TE tandem. Fleener would probably come next if I continued ranking the players. Dwayne Allen, on the other hand, was left off because he doesn't belong here. PFF ranked him as the second or third best T in the league last season. Not best rookie TE; best TE over all. It isn't a surprise: he's a ferocious blocker with sure hands and competent route running. He could very well be Gronkat a owski's heir apparent as best all-around TE. I left him off the list because even if he progresses at a snail's pace he will still be a capable starter. If we were instead discussing most exciting prospects he'd be second only to TY (and even then 4 times out of ten I'd rank him first).