I put together a rough sketch of what I think the current Colts depth chart looks like after the draft and UDFA signings. This list includes 91 players, not 90, because Marcel Dabo is not taking up a roster spot due to the NFL's international player pathway program. This list indicates a total of 44 offensive players, 43 defensive players, and 4 dedicated specialists (not counting returners, who also appear on offense and defense).
I see these 18 players on offense as locks to make the 53-man roster: Ryan, Ehlinger, Taylor, Hines, Pitman, Pierce, Dulin, Campbell, Alie-Cox, Woods, Granson, Pryor, Raimann, Nelson, Kelly, Pinter, Fries, and Smith.
I see these 17 players on defense as locks to make the 53-man roster: Ngakoue, Paye, Lewis, Buckner, Odeyingbo, Stewart, Leonard, Speed, Okereke, Franklin, Gilmore, Facyson, Rodgers, Moore, Blackmon, McLeod, Willis, and Cross.
Once you count the 3 starting specialists (Blankenship, Sanchez, and Rhodes), the Colts have 38 locks for the 53-man roster in my view. That would leave 52 players competing for the remaining 15 roster spots.
I have several observations for these roster battles:
1) The Colts seem to be gearing up to carry 4 TE's on their active roster because I don't why you would have 8 TE's on the roster to only carry 3 of them on gamedays.
2) Gus Bradley is likely planning on running nickel as the base defense like the Colts did last year because they are currently carrying 20(!) DBs.
3) I don't see the Colts carrying more than 3 RBs on the 53-man roster, so the competition is between 4 guys for that 3rd spot.
4) I don't know how many WRs the Colts plan to carry, but it has to be at least 5 and probably as many as 7.
5) I see the Colts carrying 9 or 10 lineman due to having 15 on the roster.
6) The D line is pretty versatile, so I don't know how many we carry, but I have to think that it is 7-9 of them. In the event Ngakoue gets injured, Paye would likely start at LEO and Lewis or Odeyingbo would slide to Big End, so I don't think Banogu is a roster lock, especially considering that Wick or Patchan are likely competing with him.
7) I don't think the Colts sign TY Hilton because we will only have about $6 million in cap space after signing our draft picks, and I think Ballard would like to reserve that space for in-season moves in case of injuries. TY would probably eat up all or most of that space. I haven't even mentioned Nelson's contract extension, which will likely eat away at least some of that space, unless the deal is more back-loaded.
I am curious what you guys think of my roster locks and observations, so feel free to hit me up in the comments if you disagree.
|Starter||2nd String||3rd String||4th String||5th String||6th String|
|QB||Matt Ryan||Sam Ehlinger||Jack Coan||James Morgan|
|RB||Jonathan Taylor||Nyheim Hines||Deon Jackson||Max Borghi||D'Vonte Price||CJ Verdell|
|WR (X)||Michael Pittman||Dezmon Patmon||Michael Strachan||Samson Nacua|
|WR (Z)||Alec Pierce||Ashton Dulin||Kekoa Crawford|
|Slot WR||Parris Campbell||Keke Coutee||De'Michael Harris||Michael Young Jr.|
|TE1||Mo Alie-Cox||Jelani Woods||Farrod Green||Michael Jacobson|
|TE2||Kylen Granson||Andrew Ogletree||Nikola Kalinic||Eli Wolf|
|LT||Matt Pryor||Bernhard Raimann||Brandon Kemp||Jordan Murray|
|LG||Quenton Nelson||Alex Mollette||John Seltzner|
|C||Ryan Kelly||Wesley French|
|RG||Danny Pinter||Will Fries|
|RT||Braden Smith||Ryan Van Demark||Shon Coleman||Carter O'Donnell|
|LEO||Yannick Ngakoue||Ben Banogu||Cullen Wick||Scott Patchan|
|Big End||Kwity Paye||Tyquan Lewis||Kameron Cline|
|DT (3 Tech)||Deforest Buckner||Dayo Odeyingbo||Curtis Brooks||RJ McIntosh|
|DT (1 Tech)||Grover Stewart||Eric Johnson||Chris Williams|
|LB (Will)||Darius Leonard||EJ Speed||JoJo Domann||Malik Jefferson||Sterling Weatherford|
|LB (Mike)||Bobby Okekere||Zaire Franklin||Jordan Glasgow||Forrest Rhyne|
|CB1||Stephon Gilmore||Brandon Facyson||Dallis Flowers||Chris Wilcox|
|CB2||Isaiah Rodgers||Rodney Thomas||Marcel Dabo*||Alexander Myres|
|Nickel CB||Kenny Moore||Marvel Tell III||Anthony Chesley||Tony Brown|
|FS||Julian Blackmon||Rodney McLeod||Armani Watts||Will Redmond|
|SS||Khari Willis||Nick Cross||Brandon King||Trevor Denbow|
|K||Rodrigo Blankenship||Jake Verity|
|PR||Isaiah Rodgers||Nyheim Hines|