One of the positions that had Colts fans most concerned this offseason was the safety position. The team released LaRon Landry and Mike Adams, Sergio Brown, and Colt Anderson were all free agents this offseason. They brought back Adams as a starter and Anderson for depth and special teams, but that still left them with a clear hole at the other safety spot opposite Mike Adams.
Free agency came and went and the Colts didn't add anyone. It wasn't until a few weeks later that they signed veteran safety Dwight Lowery, a player who could fill the other starting safety spot. Still, however, many fans thought that the team should and would address the position in the draft, but they opted instead to take a wide receiver in the first round despite the top safeties still being available.
So now here we are, with training camp set to begin in just a few days, and with Mike Adams and Dwight Lowery projected to be the starting safeties. And, while that group is likely not going to be among the best safety duos in the NFL, they should be able to hold their own and give the Colts solid play.
Last year, Adams started all 16 games for the Colts and recorded 87 tackles, 11 passes defensed, five picks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries, either setting or tying a career high in each category. He was tied for the NFL lead in takeaways with seven, and for his play he was named to his first career Pro Bowl. Adams has spent his eleven seasons in the league with the 49ers, Browns, Broncos, and Colts, and last year with Indy he had the best season of his career. While it's probably unrealistic to expect that same caliber of play from him in 2015, the Colts still can feel good about having Adams at one of the starting spots.
Lowery is also coming off of one of the best seasons of his career, as he played in all 16 games for the Atlanta Falcons last year (starting 15) and notched 79 tackles (a career high), a sack, five passes defensed, two picks, and two forced fumbles. Lowery has spent eight years in the NFL, spending time with the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Atlanta Falcons, and now he's with the Indianapolis Colts entering his ninth season. Lowery should do a solid job at the other safety spot for the Colts, and if he can play like he did last year with the Falcons, that should be good enough for the Colts in 2015.
Of course, there are plenty of other players at the safety position who will be looking for playing time, as Dwight Lowery's spot especially isn't guaranteed for the entire season. He'll likely enter the season as the starter, but if someone else continues to impress, the Colts might look for a younger player. Of course, this all depends on how Lowery does, but there are interesting depth options to pay attention to for the Colts.
Colt Anderson was re-signed by the team this offseason, and while he can be a depth safety option for the team, his primary role comes on special teams, where he excelled last year. Dewey McDonald made the team as an undrafted free agent last year and could be a player to work with at safety, but he too played very well on special teams. Then there is Winston Guy, who spent last year on the Colts' practice squad but who is a guy that the Colts reportedly really like. Undrafted safety Robert Smith out of Clemson will be looking to compete for a spot in camp as well. But out of all of them, perhaps the depth player to keep an eye on the most is rookie Clayton Geathers, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Colts in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Central Florida. Geathers has the most potential to be able to take over at one of the starting safety spots, and it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up being the player who stepped in at safety in the case of an injury to either Adams or Lowery. Geathers is a guy to keep an eye on through training camp and preseason.
Ultimately, the Colts could do a lot worse at the safety position. They have two solid veteran starters and a few intriguing young prospects as depth, along with some guys who can really contribute on special teams. For a defense that has a lot of question marks - an a position that had a lot of them earlier this year - that is something that the Colts and their fans will surely take.
For more in-depth analysis of the Colts' roster heading into camp, check out Josh Wilson's other position previews: