Training camp does not start until August, but ESPN’s Mike Wells is already making his early projection on the Indianapolis Colts’ 53-man roster.
Of course, it is too early to definitively say who will or will not make the team. However, predictions are always fun to look at and evaluate.
in his recent article, Wells makes some obvious predictions, and some that will shock many people (Click here to see his full projection).
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First, Wells predicted that seven out of the Colts’ eight draft picks will make the roster. The only player who will be cut is Trevor Bates, who was one of the team’s two seventh round picks.
All four offensive linemen the Colts drafted will make the team in Wells’ opinion. This means 40 percent of the Colts’ offensive line unit will be made up of rookies.
Next, Wells thinks undrafted running back Josh Ferguson will make the team along with Frank Gore, Tyler Varga and Robert Turbin. In fact, Wells thinks Ferguson will push projected backup Turbin for playing time.
"“Keep an eye on Ferguson, an undrafted free agent out of Illinois, to push Turbin to be Gore’s primary backup. Gore had 227 more carries than his closest teammate last season.”"
Ferguson was one of the main highlights of the Colts’ undrafted free agent haul. The Colts have repeatedly said they have a plan for Ferguson, which makes it understandable for Wells to have high expectations for him.
Also, Erik Swoope will make the roster for the Indianapolis Colts. The former University of Miami basketball player has been on the team’s practice squad for two years trying to learn how to be an NFL tight end. It appears Wells believes Swoope will put everything he has learned to good use and make the roster.
Defensively, Wells has defensive tackle Arthur Jones making the roster. This really should not surprise anyone. When healthy, Jones is a starting-caliber defensive tackle. However, the issue with him has always been health. It is the reason why he is entering training camp on the hot seat. Everyone is hoping for him to stay healthy.
At linebackers, it is relatively the same group as last year. The only differences are the Indianapolis Colts have replaced Jerrell Freeman with rookie Antonio Morrison, and Earl Okine has moved to outside linebacker. Undrafted linebackers like Curt Maggitt or Ron Thompson will not make final roster in Wells’ eyes.
The one surprise of this group is Tevin Mitchel, a player the Colts snatched away from the Washington Redskins in August 2015. Mitchel missed the entire 2015 season due to a shoulder injury, but the Colts have spoken highly of him this offseason.
Again, it is too early to confidently say who will make the Indianapolis Colts’ 53-man roster. Mike Wells is at least starting the conversation with this post. Overall, his projection seems well-thought-out, and he makes valid picks for each position.