Here's my crack at what I think the 53 man roster will look like when the Colts take the field in September. I also put them in my own estimate of what the depth chart will pan out to be as well. It's great to see so many high quality camp battles!
via @CAeveryday on i.imgur.com
Last 5 guys to make the cut:
Prime, Swanson, Reitz, Mathews, Cunningham
Some notes on why I put guys where:
- I put Ballard ahead of Bradshaw, but this is merely a formality and irrelevant who gets the start. I think they'll split time 60-40 with Ballard getting more carries. They'll want to make sure Bradshaw stays healthy. I could see Brown staying on the roster too.
- Mathis is going be the Colts primary pass rusher, switching sides of the ball this year. The coaching staff has been adamant in saying that Walden will be starting opposite, especially after that pretty contract he just signed. I have 1st round draftee Bjoern Werner as his backup, but it seems obvious that the two will split time. Walden on running downs and Werner on pass rushing downs. Based on our knowledge of Walden, this split time suits him best and he plays well when he does so. This also should allow Werner to develop nicely. I'm excited for this combo. Sidbury could see backup time and I think Prime will impress the coaches enough to make the squad.
- I really like Sheldon Price (UDFA). He's under built, lacks strength, and was poorly coached but I think he has great skills and measurable that Pogano and the training staff can tap into. Daxton Swanson is another player to keep your eyes on in the secondary and he can bounce back and forth from Safety to CB.
- I still truly believe that Chapman will be the game 1 starter at NT. He needs to prove he can play and hasn't lost a beat, but he was a great player for Alabama's National Championship teams. If he fails, Franklin can step in and newly drafted Hughes could also fill the roll once he gets up to speed. I have Hughes as the backup DE for now because I think he will be the most productive at that position behind Redding.
- Sheppard is a solid ILB backup. He's not flashy, but he'll do the job and was well worth the trade from the Bills.
- Thornton was drafted to be the starting RG, pure and simple. While he played LT and LG in college, Thomas seems to be solidified at that spot and the RG position is just calling for Thornton to stand in. Reports across the league are that this guy is an absolute stud and will develop into one of the best guards in the league. The depth players at the guard positions are a toss up, they could be slotted on either side or even as a backup tackle. I know 10 guys is a lot for the offensive line, but I just think the coaching staff won't want to take chances at being thin when protecting Luck. Khaled Holmes being drafted put Satele on notice: improve or your time is limited. I think Holmes is a little raw right now to start at center and the coaches will hope Satele can shake off a terrible season and be the starter this year.
- Other Notes: The receiving corps shouldn't change much, though I'm interested to see if Griff Whalen does something this year and makes the 1st team. Sampson (UDFA) has a chance at making it in as a depth player. DHB, Hilton, and Wayne are going to be fun to watch. Cunningham AKA Mr. Irrelevant won't see much action in the play-calling, especially with talents like Allen and Fleener manning the TE spots, but he is reportedly an outstanding blocker, which is always useful in a West Coast Offense.