With the first preseason game coming up this Thursday, the Colts released their first unofficial depth chart of 2018. Note that there will likely be many changes before the first regular season game on September 9th. Another thing to keep in mind is most teams list veterans ahead of rookies on the first depth chart unless the rookie is a lock to be a starter.
Before we jump into what really stood out to me, here is the first unofficial depth chart:
— WR: Ryan Grant, Deon Cain, James Wright, Zach Pascal, Steve Ishmael, Seantavius Jones
— LT: Anthony Castonzo, Le’Raven Clark, Tyreek Burwell
— LG: Quenton Nelson, Jeremy Vujnovich, Nick Callender
— C: Ryan Kelly, Deyshawn Bond, Joe Haeg
— RG: Matt Slauson, Braden Smith, Mark Glowinski
— RT: Austin Howard, Denzelle Good, Joe Haeg, J’Marcus Webb
— TE: Jack Doyle, Ross Travis, Mo Alie-Cox
— WR: T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers, K.J. Brent, Reece Fountain, Kasen Williams, Dres Anderson, Krishawn Hogan
— QB: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Brad Kaaya
— TE: Eric Ebron, Eric Swoope, Darrell Daniels
— RB: Marlon Mack, Robert Turbin, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, Christine Michael, Josh Ferguson
— DE: Kemoko Turay, Tarell Basham, Chris McCain
— NT: Al Woods, Grover Stewart, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Tomasi Laulile
— UT: Denico Autry, Tyquan Lewis, Hassan Ridgeway, Caraun Reid
— DE: Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, Margus Hunt, Anthony Johnson
— WLB: Darius Leonard, Tyrell Adams, Jeremiah George, William Ossai
— MLB: Anthony Walker, Skai Moore, Zaire Franklin
— SAM: Najee Goode, Antonio Morrison, Matthew Adams
— CB: Kenny Moore II, Nate Hairston, Chris Milton, D.J. White, Henre Toliver
— FS: Malik Hooker, T.J. Green, Chris Cooper, Shamarko Thomas
— SS: Clayton Geathers, Matthias Farley, Ronald Martin, George Odum
— CB: Pierre Desir, Quincy Wilson, Robert Jackson, Lashard Durr
— P: Rigoberto Sanchez
— K: Adam Vinatieri, Michael Badgley
— LS: Luke Rhodes
— KR: Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, Chester Rogers
— PR: Nyheim Hines, T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers
5 Takeaways/ Surprises in the First Depth Chart
5.) Ryan Grant Starting Opposite of TY Hilton
Likely one of the bigger surprises of this initial depth chart is that free agent signing Ryan Grant is listed as the starting WR opposite of TY Hilton. Many fans and writers assumed Chester Rogers would be the team’s starting wide receiver after flashing some impressive play last season.
Ryan Grant had a career year last season in Washington tallying 45 receptions for 573 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. Grant has experience as a slot receiver and as an outside receiver so this could mean that Grant starts on the outside in two receiver sets then moves to the slot in three receiver sets.
4.) Robert Turbin> Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines
Rookies Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines have both been positives so far. Both catch the ball well. Wilkins has been able to really open up with the pads on, and Hines has been used pretty much everywhere, showing his versatility.— Jake Arthur (@JakeArthurNFL) July 30, 2018
Robert Turbin was listed as the team’s number two running back in the first unofficial depth chart, over exciting rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. Hines and Wilkins, selected in the 4th and 5th rounds respectively, are expected to contribute plenty this season as the Colts’ running back group lacks experience following the departure of veteran Frank Gore in the offseason.
Turbin will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season after testing positive for PEDs this offseason so obviously this wont be the first depth chart for the first game. Turbin was a bit underwhelming last season in his third down role, rushing 23 times for only 53 yards in his 6 games played last year. Expect Wilkins and Hines to establish themselves in those first four games.
3.) Kemoko Turay Starting Opposite Jabaal Sheard
One of the biggest surprises to me was seeing rookie 2nd round pick Kemoko Turay starting opposite Jabaal Sheard on the defensive line. Many expected second year end Tarrell Basham to slide into that role with the change to the 4-3. Basham played sparingly last year, tallying 7 tackles and 2 sacks in 15 games.
Turay is coming off of a college career where he notched 14.5 sacks in four years with Rutgers and brings more bend and finesse off the edge than any other player on the Colts roster. Whether Turay, Basham or even John Simon is the day one starter, the Colts will look to heavily rotate on the defensive line to get fresh legs on the field.
2.) Tyquan Lewis a Defensive Tackle
On 1070 Ballard stated how Tyquan Lewis is a 3Tech specifically. Now can he play DE probably, but I thought it was telling— Brandon Mathe (@BrandonMathe19) August 4, 2018
Tyquan Lewis being listed as the backup defensive tackle to Denico Autry has me intrigued. Lewis isn’t really the trademark size for the position at only 269 pounds but he has potential as a pass rusher from that spot. At Ohio State, Lewis lined up all across the defensive line even as a nose tackle in some packages. Even with moving around as much as he did, Lewis was able to accumulate 23.5 sacks in his four year college career.
I think that this move has a lot of potential to be great as a sub package pass rush look. Lewis measured as one of the most explosive edge rushers at the combine so moving that speed and burst inside on passing downs could cause nightmares for opposing guards.
1.) Quincy Wilson Not A Starter
Colts have released their 1st unofficial depth chart. What I noticed is Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir are listed as the starting cornerbacks. Quincy Wilson, who tweeted at me during the offseason that Indy had its No. 1 CB on the roster after Rashaan Melvin left, is behind Desir— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) August 4, 2018
What is going on with Quincy Wilson? Many expected Wilson to take a huge leap this year as the team’s number one corner after playing sparingly last year. The former second round pick looked good in the 7 games he appeared in as a rookie and was in line to become the starter with Rashaan Melvin’s departure in free agency. This depth chart release matches with early reports indicating that he has had an up and down camp, and has rotated at corner with a relatively weak group.
I know that you have to take the first depth chart with a grain of salt but I do think this could be concerning. Hopefully Wilson turns it around this preseason as the Colts desperately need him to breakout this year.