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 center Austin Blythe.
Who is he?
The Colts used their final pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on the same position they took with their first pick: center. In the first round it was Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, and in the seventh round it was Iowa’s Austin Blythe. He played in 50 games at Iowa, starting 49 of them, and made 45 consecutive starts to close out his collegiate career. Most of his time (33 starts) was at center, though he also saw time at right guard (ten starts) and left guard (six starts). He was a member of Iowa’s leadership group for all four years and was a team captain in 2015, also finishing as one of the three finalists for the Rimington Award (Kelly won it). New Colts offensive line coach Joe Philbin really liked Blythe, and that surely helped make the center the team’s final pick.
What is his role?
Let’s be honest: Blythe has no chance of starting unless Ryan Kelly is injured. The Colts drafted Kelly to be their starting center from day one and their starting center of the future, so Blythe won’t be in competition there. Where he will be competing, however, is to win the backup job - and right now, it seems like he’s the clear favorite. The only other center on the roster, Jonotthan Harrison, spent the entire offseason working at guard, leaving the backup center spot to Blythe uncontested. It’s unclear whether Blythe will face more competition in camp, but right now he’s likely to be the backup to Ryan Kelly.
What are his chances?
Though he won’t be starting, he has a good shot at earning the backup job behind Kelly.