INDIANAPOLIS – It’s about time for the Colts to see an actual opponent.
The Carolina Panthers are coming to Grand Park for joint practices this Thursday and Friday, with the two teams then meeting at Lucas Oil Stadium for Sunday’s preseason opener.
With the Colts now two weeks into training camp, we are starting to see some guys emerge on the depth chart. And the Colts have released their own first depth chart.
Here is my projected depth chart two weeks into camp:
Quarterbacks: Carson Wentz, Jacob Eason, Sam Ehlinger*, Brett Hundley
Running Back: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, Benny LeMay, Darius Anderson, Deon Jackson*
Wide Receiver: T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell, DeMichael Harris, Ashton Dulin, Tarik Black*, Tyler Vaughns*
Wide Receiver: Michael Pittman, Zach Pascal, Mike Strachan*, Dezmon Patmon, Quartney Davis
Tight End: Jack Doyle, Farrod Green, Noah Togiai, Graham Adomitis
Tight End: Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson*, Jordan Thomas, Andrew Vollert
Left Tackle: Eric Fisher, Sam Tevi, Will Holden
Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Chris Reed, Joey Hunt
Center: Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter, Joey Hunt
Right Guard: Mark Glowinski, Jake Eldrenkamp, Will Fries*
Right Tackle: Braden Smith, Julie’n Davenport, Carter O’Donnell
Defensive End: Tyquan Lewis, Kemoko Turay, Isaac Rochell, Kameron Cline, Dayo Odeyingbo*
Defensive Tackle: Grover Stewart, Antwaun Woods, Taylor Stallworth, Chris Williams
Defensive Tackle: DeForest Buckner, Andrew Brown, Tyquan Lewis, Joey Ivie
Defensive End: Kwity Paye, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Ben Banogu, Damontre Moore
WILL Linebacker: Darius Leonard, E.J. Speed, Malik Jefferson, Curtis Bolton
MIKE Linebacker: Bobby Okereke, Skai Moore
SAM Linebacker: Zaire Franklin, Matthew Adams, Jordan Glasgow, Isaiah Kaufusi*
Cornerback: Xavier Rhodes, Rock Ya-Sin, Marvell Tell, Anthony Chesley
Cornerback: Kenny Moore, T.J. Carrie, Isaiah Rodgers, Andre Chachere, Holton Hill
Free Safety: Julian Blackmon, Andre Chachere, T.J. Carrie, George Odum,
Strong Safety: Khari Willis, Sean Davis, Ibraheim Campbell, Shawn Davis*, Nick Nelson
Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship, Eddy Pineiro
Punter: Rigoberto Sanchez
Long Snapper: LS-Luke Rhodes
Punt Returner: Nyheim Hines, Isaiah Rodgers, Parris Campbell, DeMichael Harris
Kick Returner: Isaiah Rodgers, Parris Campbell, Marlon Mack, Ashton Dulin
Depth chart takeaways:
-Since Carson Wentz got hurt July 29th, just before the final 11-on-11 period, Jacob Eason has taken every single starting rep. Sam Ehlinger is getting the vast majority of the reserve QB reps, with a few sprinkled in for Brett Hundley.
-It is going to be interesting to see what the role is for Marlon Mack this year. The Colts have far more clarity in the usage of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines.
-The top four spots at wide receiver has not changed. But rookie Mike Strachan is a guy that has caught my eye. I’ll slot him just ahead of Dezmon Patmon right now. DeMichael Harris is a guy who has been reliable, too.
-How the Colts fill out the back end of their tight end depth chart could be a spot people might forget about when constructing a 53-man roster. Should Farrod Green or Jordan Thomas join Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson on the 53? Alie-Cox and Granson being out for the last few practices has helped those back end guys.
-Eric Fisher’s backup remains up in the air. On the Colts first depth chart, it was Will Holden over Sam Tevi at left tackle. But that hasn’t been the case at camp. Tevi has been with the starters for a huge chunk of camp, although Holden got a chance (in full pads) with the starters on Monday. That was Holden’s first look in full pads at left tackle this camp. Julie’n Davenport was the first-team left tackle on Tuesday. Chris Reed has been the left guard in place of Quenton Nelson. Danny Pinter has been at center for Ryan Kelly. Let’s say Tevi starts, and everyone else is healthy up front, my ranking of the team’s top OL backups would be: Tackles-Holden, Davenport; Inside-Pinter, Reed, Hunt, Eldrenkamp, Fries.
-No position group has been healthier, and more consistent, than the defensive line this camp. The starting 4 appears set: DE-Kwity Paye, DT-DeForest Buckner, DT-Grover Stewart, DE-Tyquan Lewis. With Al-Quadin Muhammad now off the COVID list, he could be rotating option at DE. Kemoko Turay is coming on the field for pass downs, with Lewis then bumping inside and Stewart leaving the field. Andrew Brown has been a top reserve DT option, along with Antwaun Woods.
-The absence of Darius Leonard has meant E.J. Speed is the team’s definite backup WILL linebacker. Zaire Franklin is the SAM backer, but the Colts could use Speed there, too, depending on the matchup up with a particular team.
-At cornerback, Xavier Rhodes and Kenny Moore aren’t coming off the field. Who is the 3rd corner? It looks like a Rock Ya-Sin/T.J. Carrie battle. It’s probably fair to put Marvell Tell and Isaiah Rodgers just below those two in rounding out the nickel package.
-Depth at safety still remains very much up in the air, with the Colts turning to a pair of corners (Andre Chachere and T.J. Carrie) for some safety looks.
-With the kicker competition seeing both guys perfect so far in camp, Hot Rod is still tops on the depth chart.
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