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Colts 2015 Player Preview: Defensive Lineman Montori Hughes

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on August 1 with a 90-man roster, and we'll be taking a look at every single player on the roster (though it obviously will change some) as we approach camp. Today, we look at defensive lineman Montori Hughes.

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As we've mentioned often this week, the 2013 offseason was a bad one for Colts general manager Ryan Grigson.  His free agency moves were mostly terrible, and his draft wasn't great either.  First round pick Bjoern Werner hasn't produced, and third round pick Hugh Thornton hasn't been too impressive despite a lot of playing time.  Fourth round pick Khaled Holmes hasn't seen too much playing time, while sixth and seventh round picks John Boyett, Kerwynn Williams, and Justice Cunningham all were gone before they saw much action.  And then there's fifth round pick Montori Hughes.

Hughes began his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee, where he spent two seasons and recorded 37 tackles (three for loss) and six pressures.  He transferred to University of Tennessee-Martin for his final two seasons, however, where he racked up 72 tackles (15 for loss), five sacks, and 16 pressures.  In his four collegiate seasons, Hughes played in 47 career games (starting 23) and recorded 109 tackles (18 for loss), five sacks, 22 pressures, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.  The Colts thought highly enough of Hughes to trade up to get him in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and in two seasons with the Colts he has played in 16 games (one start) and has recorded 17 tackles, a pass defensed, and a fumble recovery.  In 2014, he played in 12 games (plus the three playoff games) and started one of them, notching 11 tackles, a pass defensed, and a fumble recovery.  Hughes did a very solid job for the Colts in 2014 in the role that they asked him to play - which was simply a depth defensive line role in which he would see snaps to give others a rest (he also started one game).  He wasn't asked to do a ton, but when he did get in the game, he did a solid job for the team - exactly what you'd hope from a backup lineman.

Entering the 2015 season, that appears to be his role once again.  He will have competition from others during training camp and preseason for one of the depth spots along the defensive line, but he seems to have a notable advantage and is likely to stick around for this season.  He is a versatile player who can hep the Colts out when they need him to, and for a depth player along the defensive line, that's the kind of guy that you want.  He likely won't be a starter, but he can be a solid backup and role player when given the chance.