There's a lot of speculation about the final 53 man roster and who may or may not be included. Here's my take not on who should make the team, but on who likely will make the team.
Andrew Luck; Matt Hasselbeck
This may be the easiest thing to predict but if the Colts wanted to save some money, they could easily keep Chandler Harnish over Hasselbeck since Hasselbeck's contract becomes guaranteed if he's on the roster past cut day.
Running Back (4)
Trent Richardson; Ahmad Bradshaw, Dan "BOOM" Herron, Zurlon Tipton
This was my bold prediction for the Colts roster on Twitter earlier this week. I'm saying they keep four RBs because the potential of Herron and especially Tipton are too good to subject to waivers. Bradshaw likely won't be back after this year so it'd make sense to have solid options behind default starter Trent Richardson.
Sorry to say but after the Colts placed Stanley Havili on the PUP list, I don't see the team keeping Mario Harvey on as the lone FB. It's far more likely they try to maximize their overall talent and play Dwayne Allen as the FB role, since he's a solid blocker and a much more versatile offensive player for a defense to prepare for coming out of the backfield.
Wide Receiver (6)
Reggie Wayne; TY Hilton; Hakeem Nicks; Donte Moncrief; Da'Rick Rogers; Griff Whalen
Another suspect decision keeping six WRs but that's what I'm guessing the Colts will do. Rogers is too talented simply to cut, and may be an option to be traded as the deadline comes on Saturday. Whalen doesn't have the raw ability of Roger but is a "iron sharpens iron" kind of guy that Grigson likes. The other guys are no brainers.
Tight End (3)
Dwayne Allen; Coby Fleener; Jack Doyle
Allen and Fleener are making the team. No questions there. Doyle and Weslye Saunders fight it out for the last spot with my nod going to the local guy in Doyle. Saunders has more pass catching prowess and can be a great asset for Andrew Luck down the field, but that's exactly what Fleener and Allen both do. Doyle on the other hand, can not only catch passes but is a serviceable lead blocker whenever Pep wants to line it up on the 1 yard line and attempt to shove it down a defenses throat... Ugh. Sorry. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit thinking of that play call.
Offensive Line (9)
Anthony Castonzo; Gosder Cherilus; Khaled Holmes; Jack Mewhort; Hugh Thornton; Jonotthan Harrison; Joe Reitz; Lance Louis; Josh Walker
This may come as a surprise but I've got Xavier Nixon as being the odd man out. This is a bit of a surprise but the OT for the Colts, Castonzo and Cherilus, have been pillars are health, while the interior of the offensive line is continually ravaged by injury. Reitz can fill in at OT in a pinch and if Holmes or Harrison misses time at OC then Mewhort would likely slide over, making the interior a more pressing need. I'd assume teams would be interested in signing Josh Walker away if he's released. I do think it'd be a tossup between Lance Louis and Xavier Nixon as the last guy cut as either would likely be available in case of an injury as a street free agent.
Nose Tackle (2)
Josh Chapman; Zach Kerr
I don't see any way these aren't the two primary NT on the Colts this season. Brandon McKinney has been underwhelming and should have no business making the Colts roster over the preseason stud Kerr. I've been on the Kerr bandwagon since before the draft and am excited he's played so well thus far. He's even performing against most teams first string offenses. If an injury occurs, McKinney will be available while Kerr will get snagged quickly off waivers.
Defensive Ends (4)
Arthur Jones; Cory Redding; Ricky Jean-Francois; Montori Hughes
I'm a huge fan of the Colt defensive line this year. Art Jones has been a great addition and Hughes has shown promise. RJF is a solid backup DE, which is what most of us said when he got signed starter money, and Redding has been a vocal leader for the locker room. These guys all show promise and could be the best set of defensive lineman Pagano has had during his tenure, even though that's not saying much.
Inside Linebackers (4)
D'Qwell Jackson; Jerrell Freeman; Josh McNary; Henoc Muamba
Why yes, I do think Kelvin Sheppard will either be cut or traded. It's very risky to keep only four ILBs in this system, but D'Qwell and Jerrell have been fairly injury free this preseason and can be every down LBs. D'Qwell scares me to death when he's asked to drop into coverage though so he'd be much better just attacking the line of scrimmage. Andrew Jackson, the Colts 2014 sixth round draft pick, could get placed on IR possibly designated to return, but not likely as there is someone else better suited for that spot, or stashed on the practice squad as he hasn't shown much promise mainly due to injury.
Outside Linebackers (5)
Bjoern Werner; Erik Walden; Cam Johnson; Jonathan Newsome; Andy Studebaker
This position without Robert Mathis may be the weakest on the team and that's saying something given the clear ineptitude at safety. Werner has shown some improvement but still has issues beating a blocker one on one. The same can be said actually for each OLB. The positive thing is Chuck Pagano and Greg Manusky seem to be extraordinary schemers somehow getting free blitzes from Werner and Newsome. Werner for all his faults does play with incredible discipline and is a much better edge setter than famed "edge setter" Erik Walden. Studebaker is a keeper because of his versatility to play inside or outside and his special teams prowess.
Vontae Davis; Greg Toler; Darius Butler; Loucheiz Purifoy; Marcus Burley; Sheldon Price
The top three are easy locks at this position but I think Purifoy and Burley sneak onto the roster as well. Both players have played very well, with Burley likely outplaying Purifoy in most people's eyes, and Grigson is not likely to let either be subject to waivers with the lack of solid CB play throughout the league. Oh and don't forget to mention the Colts injury history at the position as well, which makes keeping solid young backups an even more likely scenario. Obviously, I'm not a huge fan of Josh Gordy. He's always seemed like a liability whenever he was in the game. So that's apparently my second bold prediction, no Josh Gordy as any one of Purifoy, Burley or Price can take over Gordy's special team duties.
Laron Landry; Mike Adams; Sergio Brown; Dewey McDonald; Colt Anderson
This isn't much of a surprise but with the head/neck injury to Delano Howell, he'll likely be placed on IR designated to return. All of these guys have shown promise on the field or on special teams, which makes keeping five players a far more likely scenario. This unit scares me, especially with the Colts opening the season with the potent offenses of Denver and Philadelphia. They aren't great in coverage and Landry takes terrible angles in tackling. This is an area Grigson may look to improve following cuts.
Special Teams (3)
Adam Vinateri; Pat McAfee; Matt Overton
This along with the QB position are the easiest to predict.
Just for fun, let's predict the practice squad as well.
Xavier Nixon (OT); Josh Lenz (WR); Erik Swoope (TE); FN Lutz (OC); Tyler Hoover (DL/OL); Andrew Jackson (ILB); Chandler Harnish (QB); David Fluellen (RB); Gannon Conway (DL); Qua Cox (CB)
Please note the practice squad is even more unlikely to be correct. This is where Grigson will look to stash players he liked before the draft and as UDFAs after they are cut by other teams. There will likely be two to four players cut by other teams that will end up on the Colts practice squad and I'd bet Conway and Cox are the players not likely signed out of this group.