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2014 Colts Positional Preview: Pre-Camp Predictions on the 53-Man Roster

As we approach training camp, Stampede Blue’s Josh Wilson looks position by position at the Colts roster, looking at the talent they have and at how the final roster might play out. Today we recap the series by predicting the 53-man roster, pre-training camp of course.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past month, we have been looking at the Colts roster entering training camp, getting an idea of who the Colts have and how the final roster might turn out.  We've gone position-by-position and it's about time for us to finally begin seeing how the roster might turn out.

In each article I made predictions about how I thought that position would play out, but honestly, it's impossible to tell before we get to camp.  In keeping with the series, however, here are my updated predictions.  Seeing as with each position I looked in depth at each player in an attempt to provide the best information possible, my opinions on some players and positions might have changed throughout the course of the series.  Most of these changes (which aren't many, mind you) have largely to do with the way the roster is structured and not the player himself.  Below I've compiled my official pre-camp roster predictions, with only a few changes from the positional preview series (which I'll explain after the table):

NOTE: The number in parenthesis after the position denotes how many players I have making the team at that particular position)

Pre-Camp Roster Predictions from Positional Preview Series
Positon Starter(s) Backup(s) Cut
QB (2) Andrew Luck Matt Hasselbeck Chandler Harnish
RB (3) Trent Richardson Ahmad Bradshaw; Vick Ballard Zurlon Tipton; Dan Herron; Chris Rainey
FB (1) Stanley Havili Mario Harvey, Cameron White
WR (6) Reggie Wayne; T.Y. Hilton Hakeem Nicks; Donte Moncrief; Da'Rick Rogers; Griff Whalen LaVon Brazill; Ryan Lankford; Josh Lenz; Greg Moore; Eric Thomas; Tony Washington
TE (4) Dwayne Allen; Coby Fleener Jack Doyle; Erik Swoope Weslye Saunders
OL (9) Anthony Castonzo (LT); Donald Thomas (LG); Khaled Holmes (C); Hugh Thornton (RG); Gosder Cherilus (RT) Xavier Nixon; Lance Louis; Joe Reitz; Jack Mewhort Jonotthan Harrison; FN Lutz; Josh Walker; Jack Breckner; Ulrick John
DL (6) Cory Redding (DE); Arthur Jones (NT); Ricky Jean Francois (DT) Montori Hughes; Josh Chapman; Jeris Pendleton Gannon Conway; Tyler Hoover; Nnamdi Oubkwelu; Zach Kerr; Brandon McKinney
OLB (4) Bjoern Werner; Erik Walden [Robert Mathis after suspension] Daniel Adongo; Jonathan Newsome Cam Johnson; Andy Studebaker; Aaron Morgan
ILB (5) Jerrell Freeman; D'Qwell Jackson Josh McNary; Andrew Jackson; Henoc Muamba Kelvin Sheppard
CB (5) Vontae Davis; Greg Toler Darius Butler; Josh Gordy; Qua Cox Johnny Adams; Marcus Burley; Brandon Burton; Kameron Jackson; Sheldon Price; Loucheiz Purifoy
S (5) LaRon Landry; Delano Howell Mike Adams; Sergio Brown; Colt Anderson David Sims; Dewey McDonald
Special Teams (3) Adam Vinatieri (K); Pat McAfee (P); Matt Overton (LS) Cody Parkey

Changes made from individual positional preview articles:

  • In the running back preview article I had undrafted running back Zurlon Tipton making the team, but in this updated list I have him getting cut.  Why is this?  Well, it's simply because I felt that it was more important the Colts carry an additional safety than an additional running back, and so Tipton was enough on the bubble to begin with that I had him getting cut.  I still think he could help the team, but I'm not sure how likely it actually is that he'll end up making it.
  • A move that I almost changed but didn't was having Mario Harvey make the roster as a fullback instead of Stanley Havili.  I highly doubt the Colts would keep two fullbacks, but the more I think about it the more I think Harvey has a good shot at supplanting Havili.  Call it a gut feeling, I guess, and I'm sticking with Havili here, but the position is one to watch in camp.
  • A roster spot that I was going back and forth about was cleared up recently, as wide receiver LaVon Brazill was suspended for a year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.  That cleared up that discussion about the receiver position, and I have Griff Whalen making the roster now instead (who I almost had over Brazill anyway).
  • Initially, I had the Colts keeping undrafted center Jonotthan Harrison on the roster as a backup, meaning the team kept ten linemen.  I still really like Harrison and think it would be a good idea for the Colts to keep another center around, but I wonder how likely it actually is that it happens.  This is one that I'd love to be wrong about, as I like Harrison and his potential and I would encourage the Colts to have a backup option at center, but unless Harrison has a great camp, I'm not sure that will actually happen.
  • As I mentioned earlier, when I got toward the end of the positional preview series and got to the safety position, I realized that I had a problem and that I thought it was most likely that the Colts kept five safeties, yet I only left room for four throughout the series.  I cleared up a roster spot, however, and I now have Colt Anderson making the roster as a fifth safety.  On this fifth safety spot I went back and forth between Anderson and undrafted rookie Dewey McDonald, but Anderson's ability to contribute significantly on special teams and his experience gave him the edge.  Look for McDonald to make a strong push in camp, however.
Of course, a lot of these changes (and the initial picks as well) are more gut reactions than anything else, as we've yet to see the team take the field for training camp.  That will happen soon enough, however, and in fact a week from today they will conduct their first practice of training camp for 2014.  We're getting closer, and I've made my *official* predictions for the 53-man roster, pre-camp of course.  A lot will change over the next few weeks as camp and preseason action picks up, but for now, what are your thoughts on the roster?