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Stock Up, Stock Down Entering First Preseason Game

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Who's stock is up for the Colts entering the first preseason game, and who's stock is down? Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson takes a look.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

There have been eleven days of actual practice for the Indianapolis Colts so far in training camp, and as they get ready for their first preseason game tonight, let's look at a few players who's stock has risen since the start of camp, and a few players who's stock has dropped since the start of camp.  Keep in mind that these are based purely on what we've seen in camp, so it is harder to tell about some positions such as the offensive and defensive lines.  We'll continue this series after each preseason game and after the close of training camp.

Stock Up:

Loucheiz Purifoy, cornerback

Entering training camp, Purifoy was just the talented corner who we all hoped would show something but weren't sure.  Now, through two weeks of camp and entering the first preseason game, Purifoy is the talented corner who has shown something.  He has been impressive in camp, has gotten good work in team action (aside for when he's been hurt) and has stood out among the undrafted corners.

Donte Moncrief, wide receiver

There aren't enough good things to say about how impressed I've been by the rookie wide receiver Donte Moncrief.  He looks like he belongs and he doesn't look like he is a rookie.  He's smooth, polished, and looks good as a wide receiver, plus he's working as the kick returner and so far hasn't looked as out of place there as I feared he might.

Jonathan Newsome, outside linebacker

Another draft pick this year, Newsome has been very impressive as a pass rusher, enough so that he cracked the two-deep depth chart.  Around draft time we all talked about how he could be a decent pass rusher in the future, but I think he might be able to help the team right away (especially with Robert Mathis' suspension) and he has shown plenty of good things as a pass rusher in camp.

Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton, running backs

Due to the injury to Vick Ballard, some of the other running backs have gotten a chance to play with the first team in camp.  Zurlon Tipton is a guy who I liked entering camp but who I thought there wouldn't be enough room on the roster for, but now with the injury to Ballard there are spots to be had, and both Tipton and Dan Herron look to be making strong pushes for that spot or two.

Bjoern Werner, outside linebacker

Perhaps the star of the first week of camp, Werner's pass rush skills have looked much improved from last year and he has been very involved in team work, rushing the passer and batting down passes at the line.  His initial burst off the snap looks much better than it did last year, and it's hard not to be feeling hopeful and encouraged by Werner entering the first preseason game.

Stock Down:

Hakeem Nicks, wide receiver:

Nicks was signed this offseason by the Colts and big things were expected out of him.  It's not that he's been bad in camp, but the hopes from fans seem to have cooled a bit, and it has been clear he's still getting used to the team, the system, and the timing with Andrew Luck.  Furthermore, comments from offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton about how he needs to see more from Nicks, along with a recent sore foot that caused him to miss a day of practice, haven't helped things.

Ricky Jean Francois, defensive tackle

Though not really any fault of his own in camp, Ricky Jean Francois lands on this list because he has been passed over on the depth chart and is no longer running with the staters.  The starting defensive line from the start of camp through now has been Cory Redding, Josh Chapman, and Arthur Jones, with RJF still getting playing time in a relief/situational role, but unless he shows a lot in preseason, he will have lost his starting spot from last year.

Stanley Havili, fullback

This one might not be fair to put on here.  Stanley Havili has yet to practice, as he's on the PUP list.  I know, it's kind of cheap to put him on here, but he entered camp as the clear starting fullback, but in his absence Mario Harvey has done a solid job at fullback and in fact  seems to be a more intriguing option than Harvey based on styles of play.  When Havili comes back he'll certainly get a shot to compete, but he's lost a lot of ground and might not even be the favorite anymore.

Qua Cox, cornerback

The Colts were very impressed with Cox in offseason work and I thought highly of him, even placing him on the final 53-man roster in my pre-camp projections.  So far in camp, he has been quiet, hasn't stood out, and hasn't been seeing as much playing time as some of the other corners competing for spots.  Unless you're specifically watching him, you don't notice him.  Right now, he's clearly on the outside looking in it seems, though there's still a ways to go.

After the first preseason game, we'll update this list and reevaluate who's stock is up and who's is down for the Colts.