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Colts’ players to watch during pre-season: Offense

Preseason starts on Saturday after what was a rather dramatic training camp, so here are five players to keep an eye out for.

NFL: JUN 14 Indianapolis Colts Minicamp Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Anthony Richardson, quarterback

Thank you Captain Obvious! Of course the #1 and most important player to watch this pre-season will be the 4th overall pick, who plays quarterback, and is supposed to become the new face of the franchise for the next decade or so. Richardson looks set to be the starter in Week 1, so he might get most of the reps with the first team. Expect a fair share of mistakes, but it will be entertaining to watch a young electric signal-caller, who has the potential to score a touchdown from anywhere on the field and has a rocket arm. His athleticism and scrambling ability is unquestionable, and will inmediately translate to the NFL, but it will be interesting to see how far along he is on his pocket awareness and short/intermediate touch and accuracy.

Will Mallory, tight end

With Mo Alie-Cox’s most recent injury, and lack of development/consistency, the third tight end spot is wide open. Andrew Ogletree impressed last training camp before suffering a torn ACL, but my personal favourite to get that spot is Miami’s Will Mallory. Mallory is 6’4’’ and runs a 4.54 forty, led all ACC TEs with 42 receptions and 538 receiving yards, and was drafted in the 5th round by the Cots. Kylen Granson, who is the Colts’ current move TE is 6’2’’ and ran a 4.63 at SMU’s pro day. If Mallory puts up a decent preseason he might even take over the #2 tight end spot, with Pharaoh Brown rounding out the group as the blocking tight end.

Evan Hull, running back

With Jonathan Taylor’s situation, and Zack Moss’ broken arm, there is a big opportunity in the Colts’ running back room. Evan Hull was selected in the fifth round by the Colts and has, in my opinion, the highest chance to start Week 1 if Jonathan Taylor is not ready (AKA has not settled his contract dispute yet). Hull is 5’10’’ with some decent speed and above-average production out of the backfield, who could become a decent back for the team. Hull will not produce the same electric highlights JT does, but he has all the tools to become a the type of consistent running back that routinely gets 4 to 6 yards. No one in his sane mind would rather have Hull than JT, but if push comes to shove and the Colts end up starting the season without their All-Pro running back, which would be a terrible scenario, then Hull and Jackson would get most of the snaps.

Emil Ekiyor, guard

The Colts did not bring in a veteran to help fill the void at right guard, a void that almost got Matt Ryan killed last season, and caused plenty of headaches for the team. Will Fries is penciled in as the starter, after a not-terrible finish last year. Fries was not bad, but he was not good either. He was passable. Ekiyor was a starter for Alabama, who even earned All-SEC honours, and could easily take the spot off Fries if he performs well at training camp and puts up impressive preseason reps.

Blake Freeland, tackle

I don’t think Freeland will be able to take over either Bernhard Raimann’s or Braden Smith’s spot at both tackle positions, but the swing tackle will probably be the first backupfor the two of them. As Colts’ fans know very well, injuries happen, and Freeland is an exciting prospect who could be fighting for a starting job in a lot of teams. .