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INDIANAPOLIS – It was obvious to anyone watching the Colts this spring.
Cutting the 2019 Colts roster from 90 players to 53 will be quite the challenge for Chris Ballard and his staff.
Last week we took a glance at a post-spring depth chart look. Well, with the offseason program now complete, here’s a projection of a potential 53-man roster.
The numbers in the parenthesis below indicate how many players currentlly are on the 90-man roster, how many made the team at that position in 2018 and how many is being projected to make it this year.
Quarterbacks (4/2/2): Jacoby Brissett, Andrew Luck, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly
Bowen’s Analysis: With such a competitive roster, I just don’t see how you have the luxury to carry a third quarterback. The full expectation is Brissett will play out the final year of his rookie contract in Indianapolis.
Running Backs (5/4/3): Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, Spencer Ware, Jordan Wilkins, Jonathan Williams
Bowen’s Analysis: Ideally, you would keep a 4th running back. But I think the depth on defense is more important. The Colts really had no need for a 4th running back on the 53-man roster last year. I hate cutting Wilkins, but I think Ware gives you a different dynamic that I still need to see more out of Wilkins.
Wide Receiver (13/5/5): Deon Cain, Parris Campbell*, Ashton Dulin*, Reece Fountain, Devin Funchess, Penny Hart*, T.Y. Hilton, Krishawn Hogan, Steve Ishmael, Marcus Johnson, Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, Jordan Veasy
Bowen’s Analysis: Easily, wide receiver is the hardest offensive position to cut down here in 2019. I really think 4 spots are pretty set: Hilton, Funchess, Campbell, Cain. But how deep the Colts want to go with a 5th or 6th wideout will be something to watch. Again, special teams roles will be huge in rounding out this group.
Tight Ends (7/3/4): Mo Alie-Cox, Billy Brown, Jack Doyle, Eric Ebron, Hale Hentges*, Gabe Holmes, Ross Travis
Bowen’s Analysis: To me, Alie-Cox and Travis have too high of ceilings to move on from them, especially if you have one eye on 2020, with Ebron and Doyle in contract years. I probably stand on a table more than most for Travis, so this number could be 3 come late August.
Offensive Linemen (15/10/9): C/G-Josh Andrews, OT-Jackson Barton*, C/G-Evan Boehm, T-Anthony Castonzo, G/T-Le’Raven Clark, G-Jake Eldrenkamp, T-Antonio Garcia, OG-Mark Glowinski, T/G-Joe Haeg, C-Ryan Kelly, G-Quenton Nelson, G-William Poehls, G-Nico Siragusa, G/T-Braden Smith, T-J’Marcus Webb
Bowen’s Analysis: Chris Ballard probably thinks I’m one body short on this cut down to 9. Before Garcia was suspended last week for the first 4 games of the 2019 season, I might have had him over Clark. Someone needs to establish themselves as a reliable backup left tackle.
Defensive Linemen (16/10/10): DT/DE-Denico Autry, DE-Ben Banogu*, DE-Gerri Green*, DE-Obum Gwacham, DT/DE-Margus Hunt, DE-Justin Houston, DT/DE-Tyquan Lewis, DE-Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE-Dadi Nicolas, DE-Carroll Phillips, DT-Caraun Reid, DE-Jabaal Sheard, DT-Sterling Shippy*, DT-Grover Stewart, DE-Kemoko Turay, DT-Jihad Ward
Bowen’s Analysis: Slotting a position for Banogu isn’t set in stone and that will impact the numbers at defensive end/linebacker. I really don’t think this group is as hard to trim as I would have initially expected it.
Linebackers (9/6/6): Matthew Adams, Zaire Franklin, Darius Leonard, Skai Moore, Bobby Okereke*, EJ Speed*, Ahmad Thomas, Tre Thomas*, Anthony Walker
Bowen’s Analysis: How much base defense, in a 4-3 look, along with the need for special teams bodies, will define the final number at this position.
Cornerbacks (9/6/6): Jalen Collins, Pierre Desir, Nate Hairston, Chris Milton, Kenny Moore, Shakai Taylor*, Marvell Tell*, Quincy Wilson, Rock Ya-Sin*
Bowen’s Analysis: Debates will be abundant in the secondary. I’m keeping Milton for his importance on special teams. Hairston received some pretty good run with the first and second team this spring and could definitely push for another year on the 53-man roster.
Safeties (8/4/5): Matthias Farley, Clayton Geathers, Malik Hooker, Derrick Kindred, Isaiah Johnson, Roland Milligan, George Odum, Khari Willis*
Bowen’s Analysis: Given how much Chris Ballard loves the depth pieces at safety, and given the injury history, it’s hard for me to keep anything less than 5 safeties.
Specialists (4/3/3): K-Cole Hedlund*, LS-Luke Rhodes, P-Rigoberto Sanchez, K-Adam Vinatieri
Bowen’s Analysis: This group returns in-tact for a third straight season, with all three guys signing new deals in 2019.