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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Kevin Hickey

Colts’ 53-man roster projection entering training camp

The Indianapolis Colts officially begin training camp Wednesday, which means it’s time for us to make our final roster projection before the practices get underway.

Throughout training camp and the preseason games, the information we receive will likely change our thoughts on a number of players and situations.

Regardless, here’s our final roster projection for the Colts as training camp finally arrives:

Quarterback (3)

Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. First Second Third
QB Anthony Richardson Gardner Minshew Sam Ehlinger

Analysis: The league’s implementation of the emergency quarterback rule gives Sam Ehlinger a pretty strong chance to make the roster. In order to use that rule, Ehlinger has to be on the 53-man roster.

Notable Cuts: N/A

Running Back (4)

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. First Second Third Fourth
RB Jonathan Taylor Zack Moss Jake Funk Evan Hull

Analysis: The health of Jonathan Taylor will be the key here. He’s starting camp on the PUP list but can be activated at any time. Moss is the clear backup right now and there will be a competition for the final one or two spots in the room. For now, we stick with four running backs.

Notable Cuts: Deon Jackson

Wide Receiver (5)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Pos. First Second
X-WR Michael Pittman Jr.
Slot Josh Downs Isaiah McKenzie
Z-WR Alec Pierce Ashton Dulin

Analysis: Whether the Colts will keep five or six receivers is up for debate. Shane Steichen has a history of using a lot of wide receivers, but the Colts are likely to be a pretty run-heavy offense with Richardson under center. Because of that, we project the Colts to keep only five to begin the season.

Notable Cuts: Breshad Perriman, Zavier Scott, Mike Strachan, Malik Turner

Tight End (4)

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Pos. First Second
Y-TE Mo Alie-Cox Jelani Woods
F-TE Kylen Granson Will Mallory

Analysis: This is the position that is the most difficult to pin down. There are five worthy tight ends likely competing for four spots. The main battle will come down between rookie Will Mallory and second-year Andrew Ogletree. Mallory missed most of the spring due to a foot injury while Ogletree missed all of the spring working his way back from the torn ACL that claimed his rookie campaign in training camp. The rookie gets the nod right now with the hope of stashing Ogletree on the practice squad.

Notable Cuts: Andrew Ogletree, Pharaoh Brown, Kaden Smith

Offensive Line (9)

Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. First Second
LT Bernhard Raimann Jordan Murray
LG Quenton Nelson
C Ryan Kelly Danny Pinter
RG Will Fries Emil Ekiyor
RT Braden Smith Blake Freeland

Analysis: If the Colts wind up adding a veteran offensive lineman, then we should expect them to try to keep 10 players to start the season. However, there likely isn’t enough depth on the roster right now to do so.

Notable Cuts: Jake Witt, Carter O’Donnell

Defensive Line (9)

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
Pos. First Second Third
DE Samson Ebukam Dayo Odeyingbo
3-Tech DeForest Buckner Taven Bryan Adetomiwa Adebawore
1-Tech Grover Stewart Eric Johnson II
DE Kwity Paye Tyquan Lewis

Analysis: There aren’t many surprises in this room. The addition of Al-Quadin Muhammad brings in some extra competition, but the growth of the young edge rushers should keep him at bay.

Notable Cuts: Titus Leo, Al-Quadin Muhammad, McTelvin Agim

Linebacker (6)

Max Gersh/IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. First Second
WILL E.J. Speed Grant Stuard
MIKE Shaquille Leonard Segun Olubi
SAM Zaire Franklin JoJo Domann

Analysis: Though Shaquille Leonard seems to be making some progress, the Colts need all the depth they can get in this room. Considering his health questions, I don’t think they can get by with just five linebackers.

Notable Cuts: Cameron McGrone

Cornerback (6)

Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. First Second
CB Julius Brents Darius Rush
Slot Kenny Moore II Tony Brown
CB Dallis Flowers Jaylon Jones

Analysis: This room will be fun to watch even if there will be growing pains ahead. It’s an extremely young room, and there is the potential for the trio of rookies to see significant playing time. The final two spots likely come down to a competition between Jaylon Jones, Tony Brown and Darrell Baker Jr with all three holding a strong case.

Notable Cuts: Darrell Baker Jr., Kevin Toliver II

Safety (4)

Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. First Second
SS Julian Blackmon Nick Cross
FS Rodney Thomas II Trevor Denbow

Analysis: Unless Marcel Dabo emerges as a breakout during camp, which isn’t impossible, this room is pretty set. Don’t be surprised if they add a veteran to the mix either.

Notable Cuts: Marcel Dabo

Specialists (3)

Mykal McEldowney-USA TODAY Sports
Pos. Name
P Rigoberto Sanchez
K Matt Gay
LS Luke Rhodes

Analysis: Assuming Sanchez is good to go for training camp from his Achilles recovery, this unit should be extremely strong going into 2023.

Notable Cuts: Lucas Havrisik

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