Indianapolis Colts: projected starters for 53-man roster

Yes, I know it is way too early to think about, but why not? Let’s fast forward to the fall of 2014 and predict who will be starting for the Indianapolis Colts.

There are a lot of unknowns and rookies that will be coming in to fill some of the positions. But I can pretty accurately depict what the depth chart will look like.

Let’s get to it:

Offense

QB: Andrew Luck
HB: Trent Richardson
WR: Hakeem Nicks, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton
TE: Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener
LT: Anthony Castonzo
RG: Hugh Thornton
C: Khaled Holmes
LG: Donald Thomas
RT: Gosder Cherilus

Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are coming off major injuries and Richardson has a ton of upside. Sure, he may be playing in the wrong system, but he will now have an off-season and training camp under his belt.

I am hoping that this is the boost he will need to kick start his career and expect him to win the starting job by the start of the 2014 regular season.

Other than that, there’s really no surprise. Holmes seems to be the front runner in the center race and I am positive he will end up on top.

The only flaw here is that there are 12 players. The reason for that is the fact that I consider Fleener and Hilton to be starters, though they may not always be on the field.

Richardson needs to find his college form again:

Defense

OLB: Robert Mathis, Erik Walden
ILB: D’Qwell Jackson, Jerrell Freeman
DE: Arthur Jones
NT: Josh Chapman
DT: Cory Redding
CB: Vontae Davis, Greg Toler
SS: LaRon Landry
FS: Delano Howell

Bjoern Werner should take a huge step forward, but I expect him to come in on passing downs and spell Mathis and Walden.

The same goes for Ricky Jean-Francois, a consistent contributor, just not officially a starter.

Furthermore, there’s been plenty of talk about the safety position, but in the end, I expect that position to stay the way it is right now. The Colts will definitely bring in a rookie safety and possibly another veteran signing.

But Howell will be the starting safety come fall. He’s a solid player that showed talent on the field last year. The issue with him is the same as with Landry, can they stay healthy? Hopefully they do, and help bring tenacity to the Colts defense.

Looking at the roster, offensive line and the defensive backfield seem to be the biggest areas of concern. Landry, Toler and Howell are known for getting hurt and Grigson must find players to bring as depth at those positions.

While, on the offensive line, Thomas needs to prove he has recovered from his injury and Thornton has to show signs of improvement. Holmes is a complete wild card but I have hope he will be a solid starter.

All in all, Luck and company seemed to be primed for a big season. Look out for this team in 2015. Go Colts!