In Week 3 of the preseason, the Indianapolis Colts had some very good performances, but also had some pitiful outings as well. As the regular season inches closer, it’s becoming extremely difficult to be able to tell who is battling for a roster spot, and who may be gone anyway and replaced with a roster casualty from another team.
Chris Ballard and Frank Reich have their work cut out for them this year, and all they can hope for is a sudden improvement from those near the bottom of the roster. In that same breath, they have to be realistic about some of the guys who have risen to be better options than some recent draft picks as well.
This week’s lists are a bit of a mixed bag where I’m going more off of talent than attempting to fit in the right amount of players of a specific position to round out the roster. At any rate, here’s what we’ve got following the Colts’ third preseason outing against the San Francisco 49ers.
Last 5 in:
(48) Ryan Grant
I know this feels like a ridiculous addition to the list as he’s pretty clearly the WR3 on the current depth chart. But, I’ve had enough of him quite honestly. He’s had just 1 catch this preseason, and has only been targeted 4 times.
Sadly, there is STILL zero chemistry between he and Andrew Luck, despite the coaching staff’s statement of him being a good route runner, and doing all of these little things, etcetera, he’s still not doing anything to exude faith in his abilities on the field.
He’s the No. 3 receiver, this shouldn’t be an issue. If there were more depth at the position on the roster right now, he’d be right here where I have him and maybe lower.
(49) Ryan Delaire
Not everyone on this area of the list is here for the same reason. Where some are on the ‘last 5 in’ because they’re dropping down the charts, Ryan Delaire is here because he’s rising... quickly. Delaire has to be rostered at this point, don’t you think?
He notched 2 sacks against the 49ers, and has continued to show that he has a nice bag of moves mixed with great explosion and a high motor. Right now, I’d be giving Delaire snaps over everyone other than John Simon, Jabaal Sheard and Kemoko Turay. This defense needs playmakers, and the rest of the position isn’t showing that they can be.
(50) Zach Pascal
Pascal is still hanging out here, but it’s because he’s been the most consistent of the bunch fighting for those WR4/5 spots. Now he didn’t have any catches in the Colts third preseason game, but he did show that he’s got some reliability in terms of being a special teams return man.
This is, however, one of the most fluid positions on the roster and can literally change overnight. This position is making it quite difficult to fill out the roster, but Pascal has a nice combination of ability, size and special teams attributes that should keep him safe depending upon September 2nd waiver claims.
(51) Matthew Adams
I’m still a bit fan of Adams to make this roster. Antonio Morrison isn’t even on the roster anymore, and that should be a peak behind the curtain about what Chris Ballard, Matt Eberflus and Frank Reich feel about the rookie’s abilities on the field.
He’s proving to be a solid defender as well as a nice special teamer with a good combination of physicality and instincts.
(52) Chris Milton
Milton has continued his solid play, thus bumping him up to the ‘5 in’ list. I had him just outside of the 53 last week, but he stacked another solid outing on top of his Week 2 preseason performance with a pass defensed and 5 tackles.
His coverage has been very good lately, his physical play has been noticeable, and outside of maybe D.J. White the rest of the group has done very little to earn a roster spot. They’ll all get a lot of snaps to make their case for the coaching staff, but Milton has a leg up on them going into PSW4 in my eyes.
(53* | Turbin) Nyheim Hines
Unfortunately, Hines is one on this list who is falling. Like a rock, if we’re being honest. Do I expect him to be in this predicament in the coaches eyes? Not really. But, his special teams “ability” is just about out of positive things to say about it, and he isn’t showing out as an effective ball carrier.
He is physical, and doesn’t shy away from the contact, but he’s not going anywhere either and that’s what matters most I’d guess. He doesn’t find that next gear when returning the ball, because he’s now in his own head about putting the ball on the ground so many times this preseason.
He may be a ‘weapon’ in the slot, or out wide in some packages, but he’s not a good running back or return man right now and that’s honestly where he’s needed most.
First 5 out:
I just don’t know how to put it another way. Basham isn’t cutting it as a pass rusher, run stopper or a technician. We’ve talked about him so much over the past 12 months that I feel as if I’ve already written too much about a guy who hasn’t done anything while donning the horseshoe.
Basham had one nice snap on Saturday against the 49ers, and beat his man — so, honestly, good for him. However, a guy who didn’t play football last year actually earned the sack on that play because he could bend around the edge, and Basham couldn’t enough to make the play. That guy — Ryan Delaire.
Daniels is beginning to grow on me. But, that doesn’t mean that he’s any better than Ross Travis or Erik Swoope. Daniels has been pretty solid, while not really flashing much this summer and he’s made some plays.
On the other hand he’s missed some opportunities for some plays as well. I really think this just comes down to Reich’s preference and what he feels the offense needs more. Maybe PSW4 gives a bit more insight on how he stacks up against Swoope and Travis, but right now Daniels isn’t on the roster in my mind.
Williams hasn’t done much of late to harden his case for the roster. He didn’t see a single target Saturday, and while he’s not getting noticed, a couple others are. I think you can make the case that Seantavius Jones and Steve Ishmael are showing that they’re more reliable and consistent.
Again, the final preseason game will go a long way in allowing Williams to showcase what he can offer the team. I think he’s more talented than Ishmael and Jones, but it may all come down to production when it’s all said and done.
Green left Saturday’s game with an injury, and he’s done little to nothing before that to set himself apart from the rest of the safeties vying for a roster spot. Green has always been one of the most athletic players on the team, but he’s also been one of the least productive as well.
At this point, I’d rather have newly signed safety Robenson Therezie make the roster. All that length and speed that Green possesses is nice, don’t get me wrong. But, if he can’t cover and offers very little that someone else can to the roster, what’s the point?
There isn’t a larger disappointment on the roster right now. Not because others haven’t dropped the ball, but because Howard was billed as an average NFL starting right tackle. PFF lied to us. Howard has been nothing short of awful in the preseason, and that’s putting it nicely.
He hasn’t been able to hold down the position from a guy who wasn’t in the league last year (J’Marcus Webb), hasn’t beat out a rookie who is actually a guard (Braden Smith) and is being experimented with at tackle, or a guy who’s actually injured (Denzelle Good). He was replaced after the very first drive Saturday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s cut before September 1.