The Indianapolis Colts are holding their mandatory mini-camp this week, starting today and running through Thursday. It's the last time that the team will be together until they report to Anderson University for training camp, and while it's in large part just an enhanced version of OTAs, mini-camp is still a time that, for teams not named the Rams, can be beneficial.
There's only so much that you can learn from offseason workouts and mini-camp, and we won't really be able to tell for sure on anything until training camp starts. But with that said, here are three things that are worth watching this week for the Colts.
1. Offensive Line Competition
The actual competition itself will be decided in training camp and preseason, but mini-camp this week can help to give us a better idea of what the Colts are planning to do along their offensive line. The big question mark is the health of Gosder Cherilus, and with him not participating in OTAs, Joe Reitz and Jack Mewhort have seen a lot of time at right tackle. Because of Mewhort working at right tackle so far, Hugh Thornton and Lance Louis have been getting the reps at left guard. Will that continue this week? Will Mewhort see any time at left guard or will he stay at right tackle? And then what about the center position? The competition is between Jonotthan Harrison and Khaled Holmes, and so far we haven't been able to tell which player seems to have the edge. Perhaps that could be something we see in mini-camp this week as well. So while this week won't do much to end the competition, we could get a better sense of just what those competitions will be.
2. The Wide Receiver Position
There's no unit on the Colts' team that has generated more excitement and attention this offseason than the wide receiver position, and it's largely because of the new additions that have been made this offseason. Veteran Andre Johnson was signed in free agency, Phillip Dorsett was drafted in the first round, and Duron Carter was signed as a free agent out of the CFL. When added to a group that already included T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, the excitement is understandable. The position has been the one that has, arguably, been addressed the most this offseason and one that should be among the team's best in 2015. Just because of that, it will be interesting to watch the receivers as much as possible, but there is also a competition going on for the third receiver spot. T.Y. Hilton is the number one wideout, while Andre Johnson is the number two. After that, however, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, Duron Carter, and even Vincent Brown could all be competing for the spot. It seems very likely that Moncrief and Dorsett will wind up as the number three and four receivers in some order, but it's a competition that hasn't yet been decided and adds even more incentive to pay attention to the exciting position group.
3. The Rookies
One of the things that is always interesting to watch each year is the rookies, as they are the newcomers who are adjusting to the NFL and trying to win a spot. We've already mentioned how the Colts' first round pick, Phillip Dorsett, is competing for the third wide receiver spot. Third round pick D'Joun Smith is also looking to find a place among the team's cornerback, as he's the favorite to win the fourth corner job. Third round defensive end Henry Anderson has a chance to make an impact along the defensive line right away. Fourth round safety Clayton Geathers will certainly be a player to keep an eye on as he looks to earn as much playing time as he can. Fifth round pick, defensive tackle David Parry, could also look to earn playing time along the defensive line in his rookie year. Sixth round running back Josh Robinson is a talented player with potential, and it will be worth watching to see how much playing time he could earn this year. And then sixth round inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera and seventh round offensive lineman Denzelle Good are looking to earn a spot on the 53-man roster - and those are just the players that are drafted, as the Colts have a number of players who were undrafted who are worth paying attention to as well. Seeing how the rookies fit in is certainly something worth watching this week and into training camp.
What are you interested in seeing this week as the Colts conclude their offseason program with their mandatory mini-camp?