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Indianapolis Colts' 53-man roster projection post-draft – Colts Wire

The Indianapolis Colts will be shoring up the roster with a few undrafted rookie free agents following the 2021 NFL draft but most of the focus is now on preparing for the upcoming campaign.
As the Colts’ 2021 draft class concluded its haul with seven players—the fewest in Chris Ballard’s tenure—they will be working the entire offseason to find the best 53 players to begin the season with.
A lot will change from this writing in May until the roster cuts at the end of August, but we are going to take a look at a way-too-early roster projection for Indy following the draft. Rookies will be noted in italics.
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Carson Wentz
Sam Ehlinger
Jacob Eason

Right off the bat, we have a bit of a controversy. Wentz is firmly entrenched as the starter after the Colts gave up two draft picks to get him. The competition between sixth-round pick Ehlinger and 2020 fourth-round pick in Eason will be one to watch. The Colts may only carry two quarterbacks but that might be a tough sell given the inexperience both of them have at the NFL level.
Notable cuts: Jalen Morton
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Jonathan Taylor
Nyheim Hines
Marlon Mack
Jordan Wilkins
Barring injury or a trade, this room is set. Taylor will reprise his role as the starter after leading all rookies in rushing yards. Hines will continue to be the change-of-pace back while Mack and Wilkins will provide depth in the room.
Notable cuts: None
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Michael Pittman Jr.
T.Y. Hilton
Zach Pascal
Parris Campbell
Dezmon Patmon
Ashton Dulin
Barring a change at the bottom of the depth chart, this room is set as well. Pittman Jr. will be looking to take over as the WR1 working from the X while Hilton returns on a one-year deal to be the Z/flanker in the formation. The hope is Campbell can stay healthy and provide an impact while Pascal returns on his RFA tender for another season. Dulin’s work on special teams gives him an advantage. Patmon could be the sleeper in the room this year but will have some competition in seventh-round pick Mike Strachan, who will likely be a practice squad player.
Notable cuts: Mike Strachan, J.J. Nelson, DeMichael Harris
AP Photo/Brandon Wade
Jack Doyle
Mo Alie-Cox
Kylen Granson
Doyle will return as the starter working mostly inline while splitting out into the slot occasionally. Alie-Cox returns on his RFA tender for the 2021 season. The fourth-round pick in Granson will be the one to watch. He’s likely set for the move/flex role in the room and given his skillset as an explosive pass-catcher, he could see a solid role to begin his rookie season.
Notable cuts: Noah Togiai
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Sam Tevi
Quenton Nelson
Ryan Kelly
Mark Glowinski
Braden Smith
Chris Reed
Julién Davenport
Danny Pinter
It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if the Colts carried nine in this room. Tevi is the wild card among the starters. Right now, he’s the starting left tackle. If the Colts sign Eric Fisher or Charles Leno, he will likely be the backup. Though, if it winds up being Fisher, the Achilles injury may force Tevi to start the first six games or so. Outside of the starters, Reed was a great signing in free agency to provide interior depth. Davenport will be battling with Will Holden and seventh-round pick Will Fries for a depth role. Pinter continues to wait for Glowinski to leave.
Notable cuts: Will Fries, Jake Eldrenkamp, Joey Hunt
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Kwity Paye
DeForest Buckner
Grover Stewart
Kemoko Turay
Tyquan Lewis
Ben Banogu
Taylor Stallworth
Al-Quadin Muhammad
Kameron Cline
*Dayo Odeyingbo*
The Colts like to have a rotation along the front and that won’t change here. Buckner returns after an All-Pro season next to Grover Stewart on the interior. Paye will likely win the strong-side edge role while Turay works on the weakside. Lewis will work in the Denico Autry role with Muhammad while Stallworth and Cline provide interior depth. Second-round pick Odeyingbo is in asterisks here because he’s likely to start the season on the PUP list due to his Achilles injury. After that, he likely takes the spot of Cline.
Notable cuts: Andrew Brown, Robert Windsor, Isaac Rochell
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Darius Leonard
Bobby Okereke
E.J. Speed
Zaire Franklin
Jordan Glasgow
Matthew Adams
Leonard and Okereke step in has the clear starting duo in the room after Anthony Walker Jr. signed with the Browns in free agency. After that, Speed will be battling for the LB3 role but whoever gets that will be on the field roughly 15-20% of snaps. The rest of the room is contributing on special teams. One to watch will be Malik Jefferson, who just signed with the Colts. He could sneak onto the roster given his athleticism to be a special teams contributor.
Notable cuts: Malik Jefferson, Skai Moore
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Xavier Rhodes
Kenny Moore II
Rock Ya-Sin
T.J. Carrie
Marvell Tell III
Isaiah Rodgers
This room appears to be set for 2021. Rhodes and Carrie both returned on one-year deals in free agency. Moore will reprise his role in the slot and as the swiss army knife of the defense. Ya-Sin has a big year coming up looking to prove himself worthy of a consistent starting role. Tell returns after the opt-out season while Rodgers provides slot depth and is the team’s primary return man.
Notable cuts: Andre Chachere, Will Sunderland,
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Khari Willis
Julian Blackmon
Shawn Davis
George Odum
Sean Davis
The only question with this room will be how many players they keep. It could be four or they could keep an extra safety. Willis and Blackmon reprise their roles as an underrated tandem in the defensive backfield. Odum is an All-Pro special teamer but didn’t play much on defense in 2021. It will be something to watch if that changes. The veteran Davis was signed in free agency while the rookie Davis was a fifth-round pick. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team kept only one of them to avoid confusion. Kidding. Kind of.
Notable cuts: Nick Nelson, Rolan Milligan, Ibraheim Campbell
AP Photo/AJ Mast
Rodrigo Blankenship
Rigoberto Sanchez
Luke Rhodes
The only change that could come here is with Blankenship at kicker. The Colts worked out Eddy Pineiro recently, which shows they could bring in some competition for the second-year kicker.
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