The Colts have the top three on the depth chart at cornerback locked in: Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, and Darius Butler. After that, however, there's just a big question mark, and that's especially relevant considering the fact that Toler missed 7 games last year due to injury and has a history of injuries. When healthy, Toler is a good member of the starting secondary and can contribute, but the Colts have to know that they can't depend on that and therefore the backup corner spots are even more valuable than they would be anyway. The Colts will likely keep 5-6 corners, and the corners after Davis, Toler, and Butler on the depth chart could come to play a role in the success of the secondary in 2014. We don't want to expect or count on an injury from Greg Toler this year, but the history hasn't been great to prove otherwise and regardless it's always good to have depth in case.
We took a look at the position as a whole in our positional preview series, but today we'll focus in on a few of the guys competing for spots in camp and who might be able to step into those number four and five cornerback spots that could turn out to be important. Of course, like with most of the positions, we can't rule out the Colts adding a player or two after training camp cuts, but based on the current roster, let's take a look at the looming camp battle.
Josh Gordy is the most proven of the group and has played the last two years with the Colts, appearing in 27 games. His experience and familiarity with the Colts should go a long way toward helping him earn a roster spot and should probably cement him as the favorite to earn the number four spot at this point. While you can do much better than Gordy, you also can do much worse and having him there to step up wouldn't be a bad thing, as he's a good option as a number four corner.
Challenging him, however, are a few undrafted free agents and a few others. A standout at OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Qua Cox out of Jackson State looks to make a strong push for a roster spot, and the way he's been playing so far this offseason for the Colts proves that there's a real chance of that happening. He is a great prospect to keep around and a guy who can do well as a slot corner if needed this year. He'll make a strong push in camp for a roster spot. Additionally, Loucheiz Purifoy out of Florida has the talent needed to stick around and be a good player for the Colts, though he has been quiet this offseason and brings several off-the-field concerns, which the Colts might be extra wary of given the recent LaVon Brazill situation. Purifoy has talent, but so far with the Colts he hasn't done much and there are plenty of reasons why he might not make the roster. At the same time, however, don't rule out Purifoy making some noise in camp and adding to the competition. Kameron Jackson out of Cal looks like a long shot to make the roster, though the door is open for him to get into the competition if he plays well. I mainly chalk it up to bad advice for Jackson on leaving for the NFL early, as he could have used an extra year to bulk up and work on his skill-set. Still, he could surprise and make some noise in camp.
Brandon Burton has played in 15 games over the past three seasons, but hasn't done a whole lot in terms of production. Johnny Adams played in four games last year but didn't appear on the stat line whatsoever. Marcus Burley didn't play in a single game last year for the Jaguars and neither did Sheldon Price for the Colts. With all four of these guys, they'll need strong camps to even enter the conversation of making the roster.
Mainly, this battle looks to be between some of the undrafted free agents and Josh Gordy for what will likely be two roster spots. The favorites at this time seem to be Gordy and Qua Cox, but the other guys have the potential to earn a roster spot for themselves, and even further so do the other guys on the roster at the position. It will ultimately be decided in camp who earns the number four and five cornerback spots, and we've seen with the Colts that those spots can end up being pretty important.