Jul 24, 2014; Anderson, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano coaches on the field during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Colts 53-Man Roster Prediction and Analysis

The Indianapolis Colts started the first round of cuts today. Along with the rest of the league, the Colts need to trim the roster from 93 to 75 by Tuesday night.

There weren’t really any surprises with this group of players, as its getting fairly clear who will be making the final 53.

Quarterback (2)

Andrew Luck -Starter (clearly)

Matt Hasselbeck

No surprise here. Although there are rumors surrounding a trade with Hasselbeck and the Rams. This is likely just speculation after Sam Bradford re-tore his ACL. However, the Rams do have depth and youth at the safety position which could lead to a straight up trade for players. Its unlikely, but still a possibility.

At the same time, Hasselbeck is regarded as the best backup in the NFL. In the event that Luck is out for a game or two, he could win the Colts a game.

Running Back (3)

Trent Richardson – Starter (for now)

Ahmad BradshawDan Herron

The Colts shouldn’t take more than three RBs into the regular season. Although Zurlon Tipton has looked solid during the preseason, and with Bradshaw’s durability concerns, the team might err on the side of caution.

Fullback (0)

This position looks a bit muddled right now. Stanley Havili, who is really the only player you’d want at the position, is still on the PUP list. Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson still think fullback is still a viable position (hint: its not). What the Colts SHOULD do, is use Allen as a fullback in situations where it is warranted. Its also likely they won’t listen to me and put Mario Harvey on the active roster.

For now, I’ll say the Colts enter the season without one.

Wide Receiver (6)

Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton – Starters

Hakeem Nicks, Donte Moncrief, Da’Rick Rogers, Griff Whalen

I would be shocked if Rogers and Whalen didn’t make the final roster. Both players have shown they deserve to be on an NFL team and offer unique skill sets to a position where depth is important.

Tight End (3)

Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener – Starters

Weslye Saunders

The Colts have four players who have looked good at the position and its clear that tight end will be important for what the offense wants to accomplish. Jack Doyle just has less potential than Saunders at this position, which is why he makes the final roster.

Offensive Line (9)

Anthony Castonzo, Gosder Cherilus – Starters at Tackle

Jack Mewhort, Hugh Thornton – Starters at Guard

Jonotthan Harrison – Starter at Center

Khaled Holmes, Xavier Nixon, Lance Louis, Joe Reitz

While the Colts offensive line hasn’t looked great, at least across the middle, there are some decent looking players in the mix. Based on performance, the Colts should give Harrison the starting spot at center. We don’t know how much longer Holmes will be out, but at the very least it looks like the Colts have a quality backup at the position.

Defensive Line (6)

Cory Redding, Arthur Jones – Starters at Defensive End

Josh Chapman – Starter at Nose Tackle

Ricky Jean-Francois, Montori Hughes, Zach Kerr

The real standout of the preseason has to be Kerr. The past two weeks he has been a monster and will likely be rotated into the game regularly.

Hopefully Hughes will return to the team soon after the tragic passing of his infant daughter. Although I would give him as much time as he needs to grieve.

Outside Linebacker (6)

Bjoern Werner, Erik Walden – Starters (Robert Mathis after first four games)

Jonathan Newsome, Andy Studebaker, Cam Johnson

Newsome has shown just enough to prove that he can play at either OLB or DE (in a nickel package) in the NFL. Johnson and Studebaker have been about the same (with Studebaker being slightly better at rushing the passer). This is an extremely important position and the Colts could use depth at the position, especially with the early suspension of Mathis.

Hopefully, Werner will be productive enough in the first four games that the team will feel comfortable having him start opposite Mathis. Walden was likely always a stopgap measure at the position and never seems to get any better. He’s also a colossal waste of cap space.

Inside Linebacker (5)

Jerrell Freeman, D’Qwell Jackson – Starters

Kelvin Sheppard, Josh McNary, Henoc Muamba

Freeman needs to get back on the field soon, or this unit becomes scary in a bad way. Sheppard has been the starter with Freeman out, and between him and Jackson the coverage becomes, well, something painful to watch.

Cornerback (6)

Vontae Davis, Greg Toler – Starters

Darius Butler, Josh Gordy, Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Burley

The Colts like will, and should, go with six corners on the defensive side of the ball. Burley and Purifoy have simply played their way onto the roster and made it impossible to cut them. Purifoy has also been impressive on special teams as a punt returner. With Toler’s injury history, depth will also be needed.

Safety (4-5)

LaRon Landry, Mike Adams – Starters

Colt Anderson, Sergio Brown, Delano Howell (?)

Aside from Landry, we don’t really know who will be starting at the other spot. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter because this position is lacking in talent. Howell still remains a big question mark, we don’t have any new information regarding his neck injury but it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up on IR once again. Even if he does make the roster, expect the Colts to take an extra player in the event he suffers a setback.

Special Teams (3)

Adam Vinatieri – Kicker

Pat McAfee – Punter

Matt Overton – Long Snapper

Tags: 53-man Roster Prediction Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts NFL Reggie-wayne Robert Mathis

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