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INDIANAPOLIS – It’s the positions that have the Colts sleeping well at night.

Behind Chris Ballard’s roster construction, the Colts have several positions that rank right up there with others in the NFL.

What are the positions of strength for the 2021 Colts?

-Running Back: It’s a group Frank Reich calls ‘special’ for a reason. The Colts have such a diverse running back room that has to have Reich salivating at personnel groupings and when/where to use those guys. When a guy like Jordan Wilkins is your 4th RB on the depth chart, you’ve got a pretty good group. Projecting Jonathan Taylor this year to cement himself as an elite running back is what pushes this group to the top of the list.

-Offensive Line: Even without Anthony Castonzo, the Colts still have an extremely formidable offensive line. As long as the health and cohesion cooperate with Eric Fisher, this is a group that should remain among the league’s best. One additional reason for that in 2021 comes from the (on paper) improved depth across the unit. That was an important, and needed, objective for Chris Ballard this offseason.

-Defensive Tackle: There’s a bit of a drop from the first two on this list. But the defensive tackle group definitely deserves mention. Not only is DeForest Buckner one of the best DTs in all of football but Grover Stewart showed last season that he’s an upper-level presence against the run. Behind those two, the Colts have some variety. You’ve got Tyquan Lewis for pass downs and some other veterans in Antwaun Woods (32 career starts), Taylor Stallworth and Andrew Brown.

-Linebacker: Next up is really a two-man group, in Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke. With the All-Pro presence of Leonard and the emergence of Okereke, the Colts have a duo they absolutely love. Now, the depth at linebacker isn’t as crystal clear, but if these two can stay healthy, it’s a pair of Day 2 draft picks identified by Ballard and that’s so important for this defense reaching its potential.

-Safety: Similar to linebacker, the safety position has a pair of Chris Ballard draft picks still on rookie deals. Khari Willis is Mr. Reliable (and Mr. Underrated) and Julian Blackmon showed he might be Mr. Ballhawk. The Malik Hooker era is over in Indianapolis, with Blackmon and Willis as the present and future at safety. There’s some decent depth here, but it’s this pairing that has the Colts excited.