Players report on Thursday, so this is one of the last days to do a roster prediction. It feels like now is the best time for one, so here it goes. 53 players make it on the roster, 8 on the practice squad, and I will put 10 that should keep in touch if injuries take their toll.
53 Man Roster
#18 Peyton Manning-I bet I caught you off guard with this one.
#12 Jim Sorgi-Sorgi will get a chance to prove himself this upcoming year. He better not blow it. Adam Tafralis and Josh Betts are creeping up on him.
#29 Joseph Addai-Another shocker.
#33 Dominic Rhodes-Rhodes will be a change of pace back who should get somewhere between 100 to 150 carries per game. He should prosper without all the pressure on him.
#32 Mike Hart-I consider Hart a running back, although it seems like he will be used as a fullback/short yardage back.
#47 Gijon Robinson-Robinson is a fantastic blocker, and he will also be able to catch the ball, as he is “officially” a tight end. Look for him in the goal line.
#87 Reggie Wayne-As long as he doesn’t hurt himself in a meaningless basketball game, he will be Peyton’s number one target, at least until Manning and Harrison get their connection back.
#88 Marvin Harrison-Hopefully he can recover quickly and maybe get a few plays in a preseason game so he isn’t too rusty.
#11 Anthony Gonzalez-Gonzalez could have a breakout year. Or at least I hope so. He’s on my fantasy team.
#83 Roy Hall-Hall will be a surprise player and will be a major difference maker this year. Mark that down.
#14 Sam Giguere-Giguere could never make an impact in the NFL. He could also be the biggest star wide receiver we’ve seen in a long time. We know he has the talent, but can he produce on the field? Let’s give him a shot.
#44 Dallas Clark-Clark should still be a redzone target even with the Rhodes signing and Marvin’s injury recovery.
#84 Jacob Tamme-Tamme is an athletic tight end who should help the passing game become even more prolific.
#86 Tom Santi-It’s all about blocking here. Someone needs to take Utecht’s place.
#67 Tony Ugoh-If Ugoh would have stayed healthy last year, Joe Thomas may not have been named the unanimous best rookie lineman in the league. Ugoh replaced a Pro Bowler, and most people would not have noticed Tarik Glenn left.
#75 Michael Toudouze-We need some fillers on the offensive line after last year. Toudouze is a fair lineman when called upon, but he shouldn’t start.
#65 Ryan Lilja-Kansas City made a bad move by waiving Lilja. He’s an unheralded star on this team who is versatile and tough at the same time.
#61 Jamey Richard-Not much should be expected out of a seventh round pick. Richard will see some action in the rotation, but he won’t be a difference maker this year.
#63 Jeff Saturday-I hope we can find some legal medicine that can make him play forever. He’s the leader of the offensive line.
#53 Steve Justice-In Polian We Trust. I’m sure he had a plan when he took so many interior linemen.
#78 Mike Pollak-I’ll give him the nod right now, but maybe Charlie Johnson can be a better guard than a tackle (which shouldn’t be TOO hard).
#74 Charlie Johnson-I was disappointed in his play last year. We won in spite of him. He was hapless as a tackle. Let’s see if he can improve as a guard.
#71 Ryan Diem-Diem needs to stay healthy so Addai and the rest of the backs can get positive yards.
#76 Dan Federkiel-Like Toudouze, Federkiel is an insurance lineman.
#93 Dwight Freeney-Freeney should recover well from his foot surgery and be drawing the usual double and triple teams play in and play out.
#91 Josh Thomas-I’m not a big fan, but he can stop the run. His pass rush is very weak, however.
#79 Raheem Brock-Brock is unnoticed when he plays, but you know he’s missing when you see mediocre backs running up through the middle and QBs having all day in the pocket. Hopefully he can stay healthy.
#96 Keyunta Dawson-Dawson is another 2nd year player who should make a big impact at defensive tackle. He is now listed as a defensive tackle on Colts.com, so there is no doubt on where he will line up next year.
#68 Eric Foster-Last year it was Ed Johnson. This year it will be Eric Foster. Foster was made for the Tampa 2.
#99 Ed Johnson-Big Eddy was a magnificent signing by Polian last year. Sexual assault, schmexual schmassault. Ed Johnson can stop the run.
#97 Quinn Pitcock-The young players run the nose tackle position. Pitcock is ridiculously strong, and he played well last season when the offensive line was plagued with injuries.
#95 Darrell Reid-This man was the last thing Chris Henry saw before his life flashed before his eyes.
#98 Robert Mathis-With Freeney back, Mathis should return to his double-digit sack season shortly.
#92 Marcus Howard-No he is not a linebacker. And if he does well, no he is not a surprise. I expect him to do great along with many other Colts fans.
#55 Clint Session-I was stuck between Keiaho and Session here, but Session is bigger and could be a better run stopper. We’ve all seen what he can do in the passing game.
#56 Tyjuan Hagler-He’s hurt, but it won’t cost him a roster spot.
#58 Gary Brackett-Brackett was up there with the Pro Bowl snubs last year. He was the leader of a top-5 defense, and he will only get better.
#50 Philip Wheeler-Wheeler can play anywhere at linebacker. I expect him to be a starter in 2009. It depends on how Session and Keiaho do this upcoming season.
#54 Freddy Keiaho-To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how anyone can pass on us this year. The linebackers are all ballhawkers, and the secondary is one of the best in the league. Keiaho is a great example of a prototypical Tampa 2 linebacker.
#52 Ramon Guzman-He’s here for special teams and special teams only.
#28 Marlin Jackson-Like all Tampa 2 corners, Jackson is way underrated. He can shut the passing lane for any QB on any team.
#34 TJ Rushing-Rushing will not be a returner, but he is good enough to be a dime cornerback.
#41 Antoine Bethea-Bethea is a breakout player who will contend for another Pro Bowl spot this upcoming year.
#40 Jamie Silva-The team of dark horses and surprise players strike again with Silva. Boston College has some good players in the pros.
#21 Bob Sanders-70% of the Earth is covered by water. The rest is covered by Bob Sanders.
#43 Matt Giordano-After Giordano lacerated Bo Scaife’s liver, John Madden had a funny quip. “[Giordano] just knocked all of his [own] hair off!”
#26 Kelvin Hayden-He’s the same corner as Marlin Jackson. I would love to see him get a long-term contract.
#20 Dante Hughes-Hughes is expected to be a standout at nickel back. Also, it’s Dante, not Daymeion.
#25 Michael Coe-Fitting that one of the fastest players on the team shares the same number as Rocket Ismail, my favorite football player of all-time.
#4 Adam Vinatieri-His leg will be better, and his accuracy will be as well.
#17 Hunter Smith-Not a big surprise he’s over Adam Crossett right now.
#48 Justin Snow-Longsnappers normally do not get any attention. For obvious reasons.
#35 Chad Simpson-Simpson is just the kind of player the Colts need at returner. Someone who is extremely fast and may take a chance and not call a fair catch.
QB Adam Tafralis
RB Clifton Dawson
WR Devin Aromashodu
OL Corey Hilliard
DL Colin Ferrell
DL Curtis Johnson
LB Jordan Senn
DB Brannon Condren
10 Who Should Keep In Touch
RB Kenton Keith
WR Courtney Roby
WR Pierre Garcon
OL Mike Elgin
OL Darren Marquez
DL Jeff Charleston
LB Victor Worsley
DB Tim Jennings
DB Brandon Foster
RS Rudy Burgess