INDIANAPOLIS –.We certainly know one rookie that’s going to play, and play right away, for the Colts in 2023.
And the Colts are going to count on several other rookies here in the 2023 season (no undrafted free agent made the Colts 53-man roster).
Here’s a look at the outlooks for the Colts 2023 rookie class:
1. QB-Anthony RichardsonSource:Getty
QB-Anthony Richardson: The Colts are handing the keys to the franchise to Richardson right away in 2023. He’s the starter, and it’s going to have to get really, really ugly for him to lose that job this season.
2. CB-JuJu BrentsSource:Getty
CB-JuJu Brents: Back after the draft, Brents was the pegged as the rookie likely to play the most in 2023. That couldn’t be further from the truth after he missed the entire spring (wrist surgery recovery) and a huge chunk of camp (hamstring). Brents enters his rookie season in a reserve role. Is Jaylon Jones above him on the depth chart?
3. WR-Josh DownsSource:Getty
WR-Josh Downs: I’m going to go ahead and pencil Downs in as the Colts slot receiver for years to come. That might be a bit premature, but I’m a big fan of what Downs showed at UNC, and here in his first NFL offseason.
4. OT-Blake FreelandSource:Getty
OT-Blake Freeland: Is Freeland the backup swing tackle for the Colts? He appears to be the backup at the right tackle spot. Freeland received starting reps at RT when Braden Smith has been sidelined at random times this offseason.
5. DL-Adetomiwa AdebaworeSource:Getty
DL-Adetomiwa Adebawore: Pegging the exact rookie role for Adebawore is difficult. The defensive line rotates a lot though, so he should have some opportunity for reserve reps over the course of a 17-game season.
6. CB-Darius RushSource:Getty
CB-Darius Rush:The Colts surprisingly cut Rush last week, making him the 2nd highest draft pick Chris Ballard has cut before their rookie campaign (OT-Zach Banner was pick No. 137 in 2017, Rush was No. 138 in 2023). Rush is now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs after being claimed on Wednesday.
7. S-Daniel ScottSource:Getty
S-Daniel Scott: Scott, the 24-year-old rookie, tore his ACL back in the spring offseason program, thus ending his first year in the NFL. It was an obvious bummer for Scott, especially with some other injuries at safety opening up depth spots during training camp.
8. TE-Will MallorySource:Getty
TE-Will Mallory: It was rough offseason for Mallory in the availability department. When he was on the field though, you saw some reasons why the Colts staff is intrigued by his future. Mallory had some more flashes late in camp/the preseason. The tight end depth chart is still very much up in the air as the season arrives.
9. RB-Evan HullSource:Getty
RB-Evan Hull: Throughout this offseason, we though Hull had a great chance to earn a Day 1 role. That’s only increased, thanks to the Jonathan Taylor drama and the broken arm for Zack Moss. Hull has received plenty of first-team chances this preseason. The Northwestern product should garner some early role.
10. DE-Titus LeoSource:Getty
DE-Titus Leo: As training camp moved along you saw more and more from the Wagner product. Unfortunately an undisclosed injury sent Leo to injured reserve. Like Jake Witt below, Leo having to miss all game/practice action in his rookie season is less than ideal given the big jump
11. CB-Jaylon JonesSource:Getty
CB-Jaylon Jones: Of all the 2023 draft picks, you could make a strong argument that no one has helped himself more than Jones. It was amazing to watch Jones, a former 5-star high school recruit, and think how did a 6-2 corner from the SEC with his competitive ball skills fall all the way to the 7th round? He’s knocking on the playing time door, and his presence (indirectly) played a role in Rush being cut.
12. OT-Jake WittSource:n/a
OT-Jake Witt: A hip injury early in training camp ended his rookie season, with a trip to injured reserve. The bummer for this comes from Witt, a likely 2023 “redshirt” anyways, missing out on a year of practice squad reps. That would have been critical as he transitions from Northern Michigan.
13. DE-Isaiah LandSource:Getty
DE-Isaiah Land: The Colts claimed Land earlier this weeek. He went undrafted out of Florida A&M, and did have some nice preseason moments with the Cowboys, who have a very deep edge rushing group. Land had an eye-popping 2021 season at Florida A&M, amassing 19.0 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. An exact NFL position and a major step up in competition were among the questions about Land exiting college. The Colts don’t have an obvious backup edge rusher need (Tyquan Lewis and Dayo Odeyingbo), but Land’s skillset (edge speed) is something that would be welcomed.
14. OT-Ryan HayesSource:Getty
OT-Ryan Hayes: Hayes was an undrafted free agent of the Dolphins, hailing from Michigan. The Colts claimed Hayes this week. Hayes started 29 games at left tackle for Michigan. Initially a tight end at Michigan, rookies in Hayes and Blake Freeland are the depth tackle guys for the Colts. Freeland primarily has worked at right tackle this offseason, whereas Hayes appears to be more of a left tackle.