Since taking the reins of the Colts last year, Chris Ballard has talked about two things: culture and competition. He has made it clear that he wants to build a base of young players who will set the culture for the organization and grow and develop into a perennial powerhouse.
Because of this ideology, at this stage of the process he generally opts for younger players with upside over older and proven veterans. We likely won’t know for a year or so whether he has gotten things right, but he has certainly stuck to his plan.
Given that he talks a lot about competition, it is very logical to expect that when teams begin cutting down their rosters, the Colts will be carefully watching. With that in mind, I wanted to put together a few players to watch during the remaining preseason games as players in deep position groups who might be cutdown casualties and good possible additions to the Colts’ roster.
Geremy Davis – WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Geremy Davis is a big body receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers. At 6’3” 211lbs and just 26 years old, he is right in line with the kind of guy Ballard has invested in this offseason. Through camp so far, he has flashed as a solid depth player and made a pretty incredible 47-yard touchdown catch, going up over a defender to get an underthrown ball by Geno Smith. It was an impressive display of athleticism, and he led the Chargers receivers on the night with 88 yards and a touchdown.
With a pretty solid group of pass catchers for the Chargers, Davis could end up the odd man out. According to Bolts from the Blue, the Chargers’ SB Nation site, their first five receivers are a pretty easy prediction, so if they choose to keep just 5, that likely leaves Davis out. With Frank Reich’s ties to Ken Whisenhunt, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them bring Davis in if he can’t make the cut in Los Angeles.
Kai Nacua – S, Baltimore Ravens
With the need to upgrade their depth at safety, the Colts might look to a team with plenty of it themselves. The Baltimore Ravens have a very opportunistic and deep defensive back group, and their safeties are possibly the deepest group on the team. Because of this Kai Nacua might be worth a look for the Colts.
At 6’0” and 205lbs, he has the size and athleticism teams are looking for in a safety. Nacua was an undrafted free agent last season who signed with the Browns. He started in three games for them before being waived in the offseason and being claimed by the Ravens.
In his time at Brigham Young, he proved to be a ball hawk and a capable hitter, which would provide depth and versatility at the position that T.J. Green does not offer. His talents would fit well with the Colts, and at just 23, he still has a lot of upside potential and could be a great addition.
Perhaps the thing that makes this most likely is that the joint practices with the Ravens will give Ballard a first-hand opportunity to watch him and see if he would be a fit with the Colts.
D.J. Killings – CB, Philadelphia Eagles
Another player who might pique some interest for the Colts is cornerback D.J. Killings of the Eagles. 6’0” and 185lbs, Killings was an undrafted free agent out of UCF last season and was signed by the Patriots before being waived injured. The Eagles picked him up on waivers and he spent the remainder of the season on their practice squad. Killings is noted by former teammates as being a “genius in the room.” Shaquill Griffin specifically said when he didn’t know something, his first stop was Killings.
The Eagles obviously like his potential, because they gave him a pay raise last season to keep him on their practice squad when a team attempted to sign him. Given the Colts need at cornerback and lack of proven depth, it would make sense to watch him closely throughout the remainder of the preseason. The Eagles have good depth at cornerback and he likely doesn’t make the final cut, so he could be a valuable addition to the Colts’ roster.