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Colts 2016 player preview: Outside linebacker Trevor Bates

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on July 26 with their 90-man roster, which will be cut down to 53 players by the end of the preseason.  To pass the time until camp, we're taking a look at every player on the Colts' 90-man roster.  Today, we're looking at outside linebacker Trevor Bates.

Who is he?

The Colts entered this offseason with a huge need at pass rush.  They exit this offseason still with a huge need at pass rush.  In between, the only free agent signing or draft pick they used on a pass rusher was to select Trevor Bates in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.  Bates played in 46 games while at Maine, recording 207 tackles, 19 sacks, ten passes defensed, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries (one for a score), and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown).  He told FOX Sports 975 earlier this offseason that he will begin at outside linebacker, though he acknowledged that the Colts have talked about eventually moving him to inside linebacker.

What is his role?

Seventh round picks normally don't have a great chance at making a roster, but Trevor Bates does with the Colts for one very simple reason: they don't really have anyone else.  Robert Mathis and Trent Cole are the two edge rushers, while Erik Walden is the other outside linebacker.  Other than that, the Colts don't have any standout young pass rushers to develop, so they're looking to find one or two this offseason.  They signed Ron Thompson and Curt Maggitt as undrafted free agents to go along with Bates (a seventh rounder) and Earl Okine (a converted defensive lineman).  Those guys are the ones who will be competing for the depth role for the Colts to work with and develop, and it's anybody's guess who wins that battle.  Trevor Bates has a good shot, however, and he's definitely someone worth paying attention to.

What are his chances?

Trevor Bates has a legitimate chance to make the roster -€” mainly because the Colts don't have any other young pass rushers to develop.