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Colts 2016 player preview: Cornerback D'Joun Smith

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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 cornerback D'Joun Smith.

Who is he?

The Colts thought very highly of Florida Atlantic cornerback D'Joun Smith last year, making him their third round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.  Though the team had high expectations for him, his rookie season didn't go as planned.  He worked out with the team during the offseason and in training camp, but early in the season he was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return due to a knee injury.  He was activated from the list later in the year and seemingly ready to go, but after playing in four games (recording one tackle and a fumble recovery), Smith was placed on season-ending IR due to his knee.  His rookie season came to an end after playing just four games, much of which was on special teams.  That was a disappointment, but the fact that he suffered a setback in his recovery and that the knee injury forced him to miss the offseason program this year is even more so.  The Colts hope to have him back by the start of training camp, but so far his NFL career has been derailed due to the injury.

What is his role?

It was thought that D'Joun Smith might have been able to compete with Darius Butler for the nickel cornerback role.  Obviously Vontae Davis and Patrick Robinson are the starters, while Butler is the likely third corner.  Smith has plenty of potential to fill that role, however, and he perhaps could do so even better since he's capable of playing both inside and outside (Butler is -€” or should be -€” limited to playing inside).  What's uncertain is just how much missing the offseason program this year -€” on top of missing most of his rookie season -€” will impact that competition.  My guess is that the Colts will want to see what he can do at the NFL level before thrusting him into a role like that, which could mean that Smith starts the year as the number four corner.  Either way, he's expected to make the roster (as long as he can get healthy).

What are his chances?

Unless injuries continue to derail him Smith will make the roster, but his role is still unclear.