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Way too early prediction of the Colts 2019 Roster: Summer Break Edition

NFL: Indianapolis Colts-Minicamp Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NFL season is still in its infancy and things have started to pick up steam for the Indianapolis Colts. General Manager Chris Ballard has started rolling out the second phase of his “homegrown player” initiative. In this phase, he has handed out lucrative contract extensions to players like Kenny Moore, Rigoberto Sanchez, Luke Rhodes and Pierre Desir. There is reason to believe that Ballard may not be done massaging the salary cap he carefully built up and locking down key players that he and his coaching staff see as long-term contributors to the team’s future.

In the meantime, the Colts invited members of the media to attend organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. Rookies had a chance to make a first impression, free agents also had a chance to make their presence felt and veteran injuries allowed depth players to receive a lot of first team reps. After all that we’ve learned following sprint activities, this is a way too early 2019 Colts roster prediction.

* I used the initial 53-man cut-down from 2018 as a guide for how many players to keep at each position.

(2) QB - Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett

(4) RB - Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Spencer Ware, Jordan Wilkins

(5) WR - T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess, Parris Cambell, Deon Cain, Chester Rogers

(3) TE - Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox

(10) OL - Anthony Castonzo, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinski, Braden Smith, Joe Haeg, Le’Raven Clark, Evan Boehm, Josh Andrews, J’Marcus Webb

(10) DL - Justin Houston, Denico Autry, Margus Hunt, Jabaal Sheard, Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay, Jihad Ward, Al’Quadin Muhammad, Grover Stewart, Gerri Green

(6) LB - Darius Leonard, Anthony Walker, Ben Banogu, Bobby Okereke, Matthew Adams, E.J. Speed

(6) CB - Pierre Desir, Rock Ya-Sin, Kenny Moore, Quincy Wilson, Jalen Collins, Chris Milton

(4) S - Malik Hooker, Matthias Farley, Khari Willis, George Odum

(1) K - Adam Vinatieri

(1) P - Rigoberto Sanchez

(1) LS - Luke Rhodes

* Bolded players are rookies.

There are a few surprises that come from this initial list.

  • Clayton Geathers is not on the list. The reasons he was excluded are health related and due to the fact that Khari Willis and Matthias Farley should be able to play a similar role, Bobby Okereke also has the athletic characteristics that help to fill the hole left by Geathers, and the team has consistently spoken very highly about George Odum — who is entering only his second season. Ballard builds for the future and he could determine at final cuts that Geathers is in the team’s past.
  • Daurice Fountain and Ross Travis are not on the list and could be considered surprised. I think a lot of fans would like to see Travis get a chance as the team’s fourth TE. If the team keeps four, that is where I would put him. Fountain has a lot of proving to do to earn his spot and training camp and preseason will be critical.
  • J’Marcus Webb is currently listed but I suspect that after Antonio Garcia serves his suspension, he will take this spot.
  • Zaire Franklin doesn’t make the team in this list but that speaks to the depth of the unit. Last year, Franklin served as a backup to Leonard and this year it is less likely that will happen. It will come down to special teams between Franklin, Skai Moore, and E.J. Speed.
  • Marvell Tell and Nate Hairston did not make the final roster. Hairston in particular is a difficult player to cut given the promise he showed in his rookie season. Tell is odd man out based upon a crowded competition at the position. I could see Tell spending the year bouncing between the practice squad and active roster.

I will say that if it were up to me, I’d shrink the offensive line and defensive line down. I’m not convinced they need that many bodies now that they’re settling into the second year in their new schemes. However, every year there are surprise cuts and this year won’t be any different.

What changes would you make?