This weekend the Indianapolis Colts will hold their rookie mini-camp, which is the first chance that they’ll have to really work with their new additions on the field.
It’s a chance for players to get on-field and classroom work and it’s a chance for the team to work with them outside of the offseason program, which only allows for a certain number of practices. Many teams had their rookie camps last weekend while others will have theirs this weekend like the Colts.
The camp will include the team’s draft picks, undrafted free agent signings, tryout players, and perhaps a few others - and the Colts will have a lot of players in the building this weekend. In fact, Chris Ballard said today in an interview with 1070 the Fan’s JMV that the Colts will have 73 players in their rookie mini-camp.
“I think we’re on our way,” Ballard said when asked about the development of the roster. “We’re not there yet. We’ve got work to do. We always do, we’re always going to be looking for players, we’re always looking to get better, we’re always looking to get upgrades, but I like what we’ve done and I like where we’re at, and now we’ll start developing players and getting them ingrained in the system and get moving forward, and we’ll continue to look. We’ve got a big weekend this weekend with our rookie mini-camp where we’ve got 73 total guys, we’ve got a bunch of tryout guys in here and hopefully one of these guys will shine and we’ll end up signing him at the end of the weekend.”
In case you were wondering, 73 players is a lot to have in for a rookie-mini-camp, and it means that like Ballard said there will be a lot of tryout guys. The Colts’ eight draft picks will of course be participating, as well as the 18 players that the team signed last week as undrafted free agents. But that only makes up 26 total players, which means that there will be 47 (!) other players in camp. It’s assumed that most of these guys will be tryout players, who are given invites to rookie mini-camp to work with the Colts for the weekend (the camp lasts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and try to impress. It seems like every year there are at least one or two tryout players who wind up earning a spot on the 90-man roster, just like there are some UDFA signings who wind up cut following the mini-camp. For example, just last year Frankie Williams was a tryout with the Colts in rookie camp and wound up signing shortly thereafter, and he played in three games for the Colts in 2016.
We’ll hopefully get a full list of players participating this weekend within the next day or so, but there will be a lot of new faces in the building - which makes sense, given the emphasis on competition that has become a major focus for the Colts.