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

Instant analysis of Colts’ initial 53-man roster

The Indianapolis Colts officially took the roster down to 53 players Tuesday as the entire league got through the massive cutdown day.

The roster is going to change throughout the season so this group of players is in no way the permanent squad, but it does lay the foundation for the 2022 season.

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Here is an instant analysis of the initial 53-man roster for the Colts:

Quarterback (3)

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

1. Matt Ryan
2. Nick Foles
3. Sam Ehlinger

Analysis: The Colts wound up keeping three quarterbacks after Ehlinger’s big preseason.  How long that will last remains to be seen. The Colts will need depth elsewhere eventually, and they can certainly get by with just Ryan and Foles on the roster.

Notable Cuts: Jack Coan

Running Back (3)

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

1. Jonathan Taylor
2. Nyheim Hines
3. Deon Jackson

Analysis: It was somewhat of a surprise to see the Colts cut Phillip Lindsay and only keep three running backs. It doesn’t matter all that much considering Jackson’s role is solely for special teams, and they can find players for depth if needed.

Notable Cuts: Phillip Lindsay, Ty’Son Williams, D’vonte Price

Wide Receiver (6)

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

1. Michael Pittman Jr.
2. Parris Campbell
3. Alec Pierce
4. Ashton Dulin
5. Dezmon Patmon
6. Mike Strachan

Analysis: This was one of the outcomes for the Colts throughout training camp. We’ll see if Patmon and Strachan are both the back-end depth pieces after waiver claims go through but for now, they round out the wide receiver room.

Notable Cuts: Keke Coutee

Tight End (3)

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

1. Mo Alie-Cox
2. Kylen Granson
3. Jelani Woods

Analysis: This is what we expected from this room. It likely would have been four tight ends if Andrew Ogletree didn’t tear his ACL. It would be a mild surprise to see them add to it before the season starts.

Notable Cuts: N/A

Offensive Line (8)

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

1. Matt Pryor
2. Quenton Nelson

3. Ryan Kelly
4. Danny Pinter
5. Braden Smith
6. Bernhard Raimann
7. Will Fries
8. Wesley French

Analysis: We got the number right in our final roster prediction, but we had the Colts keeping Dennis Kelly over the undrafted rookie in French. Several of the players the Colts cut from this group will wind up on the practice squad. The depth is extremely questionable, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to a see a waiver claim come through at this position.

Notable Cuts: Dennis Kelly, Ryan Van Demark

Defensive Line (10)

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

1. Yannick Ngakoue
2. Kwity Paye
3. DeForest Buckner
4. Grover Stewart
5. Tyquan Lewis
6. Dayo Odeyinbgo
7. Ben Banogu
8. Eric Johnson II
9. Ifeadi Odenigbo
10. Byron Cowart

Analysis: While 10 players does feel like a lot to carry, it seems the Colts couldn’t part ways with Odenigbo, who had a strong preseason. Keeping Cowart is a bit of a surprise considering the preseason he had, but the Colts obviously see something in him. The depth here has a lot to prove on the interior, but the edge presence is strong.

Notable Cuts: Chris Williams, Curtis Brooks

Linebacker (6)

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shaquille Leonard
2. Bobby Okereke
3. Zaire Franklin
4. E.J. Speed
5. Grant Stuard
6. Jojo Domann

Analysis: The big shake-up here was the Colts trading for Stuard on Tuesday. He’s a young special teams ace, which is nice. But it meant waiving Sterling Weatherford, who showed a lot of promise. We’ll see if the Colts have a chance to retain him on the practice squad. A small note here is that Leonard avoided the PUP list so that’s encouraging.

Notable Cuts: Sterling Weatherford, Brandon King, Forrest Rhyne

Cornerback (6)

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

1. Stephon Gilmore
2. Kenny Moore II
3. Brandon Facyson
4. Isaiah Rodgers
5. Tony Brown
6. Dallis Flowers

Analysis: The sixth spot in this room was always a massive question mark, but it went to the promising undrafted rookie in Flowers. He’s likely to spend almost all of his time on special teams but has more upside than others in the group.

Notable Cuts: Anthony Chesley, Marvell Tell III

Safety (5)

Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

1. Julian Blackmon
2. Nick Cross
3. Rodney McLeod
4. Rodney Thomas II
5. Trevor Denbow

Analysis: The Colts roll with five safeties, including three rookies. Cross is likely the start the majority of the time at strong safety while Thomas showed promise as a depth piece. Expect Denbow to play his snaps on special teams. Armani Watts was officially placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.

Notable Cuts: N/A

Specialists (3)

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

1. Rodrigo Blankenship
2. Matt Haack
3. Luke Rhodes

Analysis: The only note here is that Rigoberto Sanchez will officially miss the entire season after being placed on the injured reserve list.

Notable Cuts: N/A

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