Competition Has Significantly Risen At Several Colts Positions Following 2019 Draft
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INDIANAPOLIS – If you play wide receiver, linebacker or cornerback for the Colts, and don’t have a secure roster spot, the 2019 Draft didn’t offer many calming moments.
Those three positions received some significant attention, in the quality and quantity departments.
At times, in recent years, those position groups have lacked depth with numerous questions about who was deserving to make the 53-man roster.
But the competition there has risen majorly over the past week.
Let’s take a closer look at life at those three spots:
To me, wideout deserved the attention Chris Ballard gave the group this offseason. But I wasn’t totally sold the GM was actually going to hand out such resources. He paid Devin Funchess $10 million in free agency and then spent a second-round draft pick on Parris Campbell. Those are resources we haven’t seen given to receiver in quite a while.
This position group is going to have some really tough decisions on guys who saw a good amount of action late last season.
Let’s say Deon Cain returns healthy. That means you have T.Y. Hilton, Devin Funchess, Parris Campbell and Cain on your 53-man roster. Does that leave just one spot for Chester Rogers, Reece Fountain, Zach Pascal and Marcus Johnson? Do you try and keep 6 receivers?
Rogers has the return ability and caught the 2nd most balls of any Indy WR last year. Pascal, 24, returned kicks in 2018 and emerged late in the season as a wideout. Fountain was a 5th round pick in 2018. And Johnson is a favorite of Frank Reich.
Let the battle begin.
Chris Ballard has now selected 7 linebackers in his 3 drafts as general manager.
That’s an extremely high number for a position group that has teetered towards having just 2 guys on the field in games against pass happy teams.
Ballard points out that the linebackers often play huge roles on special teams so their value extends past just the normal defensive flow of a game. In total, the Colts have 9 linebackers on their roster, all 24 years of age or younger.
We know Darius Leonard isn’t coming off the field, and Anthony Walker seems to be entrenched into, at least, early down duty.
While Ballard has had 7 linebackers on past rosters, the Colts have typically just kept 6. So the likes of 5th round pick EJ Speed, Matthew Adams, Zaire Franklin, Skai Moore and Ahmad Thomas will likely be fighting it out for 2, maybe 3, spots.
The numbers and the body types continue to change at the cornerback position for the Colts.
Corner was always a position group that Ballard wanted to add to the depth this offseason, and he’s brought some more length to the group as well.
The Colts didn’t lose any corners this offseason. They re-signed Pierre Desir to a 3-year deal. Fellow starter Kenny Moore returns. Then you have the likes of Quincy Wilson, Nate Hairston and Jalen Collins, as well. And don’t forget about special teams demon Chris Milton, who has carved out a niche on 4th down since entering the league as a 2016 undrafted free agent.
This will be another difficult group to cut down to 5 or 6 guys.