It may only be June, but with a month until the Indianapolis Colts report to training camp we present our first installment of the team’s projected 53-man depth chart.
The Colts are fortunate enough to have some high quality depth in most areas that will breed intense camp battles. The benefit for certain players will be their versatility and ability to play different positions. Players that are more of a one-trick pony will likely be given their walking papers.
Quarterback (2) – Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck
For the third straight year, expect Andrew Luck to have just one veteran behind him on the depth chart, with Chandler Harnish on the practice squad.
Running Back (3) – Trent Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard
Fullback (1) – Mario Harvey
With the depth that the Colts have at other positions, it would be hard to justify keeping any more than four backfield players, and it is pretty clear who the team’s top three running backs are. If former linebacker Mario Harvey can prove to catch the ball out of the backfield during training camp, there is an excellent chance that he supplants Stanley Havili as the fullback.
Wide Receiver (5) – Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Hakeem Nicks, Donte Moncrief, Da’Rick Rogers
Tight End (3) – Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener, Jack Doyle
The Colts are loaded with pass catchers, so whittling the group down will be easier said than done. However, if the Colts truly want to get the most bang for their buck then these eight players will be all they need. The toughest decision will be deciding what happens with LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen.
Offensive Tackle (2) – Anthony Castonzo, Gosder Cherilus
Offensive Guard (5) – Donald Thomas, Hugh Thornton, Lance Louis, Jack Mewhort, Joe Reitz
Center (2) – Khaled Holmes, Jonotthan Harrison
There may only be two “true” tackles here, but do not forget that many of these offensive linemen are capable of playing all over the line. Versatility has been the name of the game for the offensive line in Indianapolis for years.
Defensive End/Tackle (4) – Cory Redding, Arthur Jones, Ricky Jean Francois, Jeris Pendleton
Nose Tackle (3) – Josh Chapman, Brandon McKinney, Montori Hughes
Like the offensive line, the Colts’ defensive line is extremely versatile. The biggest wild card is whether or not Brandon McKinney can prove he is ready to be back in the NFL. If so, he gets the nod over rookie undrafted free agent Zach Kerr.
Outside Linebacker (5) – Robert Mathis, Erik Walden, Bjoern Werner, Jonathan Newsome, Cam Johnson
Inside Linebacker (5) – Jerrell Freeman, D’Qwell Jackson, Kelvin Sheppard, Josh McNary, Henoc Muamba
Someone will be in Robert Mathis’ place for the first four weeks of the regular season, but Mathis will reclaim his spot following the fourth game. Next, in an ideal situation, the Colts give Kelvin Sheppard’s roster spot to another player such as Andrew Jackson, or someone from another position. However, Sheppard has seemed to gain a certain amount of loyalty despite lackluster play. In regards to Jackson, not having a draft pick not make the roster may seem unlikely, but the Colts have had sixth and seventh-round picks not make it to Week 1 in both of the last two years.
Cornerback (5) – Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Darius Butler, Josh Gordy, Qua Cox
Safety (5) – LaRon Landry, Mike Adams, Delano Howell, Sergio Brown, Colt Anderson
The defensive back group is a fragile one, so these five cornerbacks likely are not the only ones you will see early on in the season, but this entire group of DB’s is likely the team’s best bet to start the season off. At safety, there may not be a clear cut option to start next to LaRon Landry, but they do have a couple of quality options. Expect either the veteran Mike Adams or the up-and-comer Delano Howell to claim the spot.
Kicker (1) – Adam Vinatieri
Punter (1) – Pat McAfee
Long Snapper (1) – Matt Overton
There is no reason to make any changes to the self-proclaimed “4th Down Playas”. Kicker Cody Parkey is currently on the roster as a camp leg, but poses no threat to Vinatieri’s roster spot.