Pricey Colts Rookie May Be on Roster Bubble – Heavy.com

Getty Head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts may cut a notable rookie before the start of the 2022 NFL season.
The Indianapolis Colts added eight players to their roster from the 2022 NFL Draft. But then the team also signed numerous undrafted free agents who hope to make the roster this summer.
The most notable undrafted free agent the Colts signed was offensive tackle Ryan Van Demark. Indianapolis offered Van Demark $175,000, which NFL reporter Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus reported was the third-largest guaranteed deal for an undrafted free agent this offseason.
But according to Colts editor Kevin Hickey of USA Today, Van Demark might not make the roster.
“The Colts gave Van Demark a hefty signing bonus following the 2022 NFL draft, but he still has to prove he’s worthy of a roster spot,” Hickey wrote. “With Matt Pryor, Bernhard Raimann and Dennis Kelly all likely to make the roster, Van Demark needs a strong showing during the preseason.”
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Indianapolis has a hole to fill at left tackle this preseason. The Colts allowed veteran starter Eric Fisher to leave in free agency. To replace him, Indianapolis re-signed Matt Pryor to a one-year deal, signed Dennis Kelly to a one-year contract and selected Bernhard Raimann in the third round of the draft.
Despite going undrafted, Van Demark was thought to be in the mix as well based on his signing bonus. In fact, Hickey initially wrote following the Colts signing Van Demark that he had “a good change” of making the roster.
But as Indianapolis has rounded out its roster, it has becoming more clear that Van Demark will really have to perform well in training camp and the preseason to make the team. While the Colts don’t have a clear starter at left tackle, they do have three guys capable of contributing at a high level at the position.
Pryor, who started five games last season, is the front runner to start. Raimann is probably the next most-likely candidate to start at left tackle in Week 1.
The Colts may have a hard time fitting Van Demark on their final roster, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t be trying to secure a spot for him. Van Demark has intriguing traits and leadership skills.
“Four-year starter with appealing length, athleticism and leadership traits to sell to teams,” NFL analyst Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote. “Van Demark lands in a classic role as a likely late-round move tackle.
“The traits give him a chance to be drafted, but his frame and upside might be maxed out.”
Van Demark spent five years at UConn, playing four seasons (2017-19, 2021). He didn’t play in 2020 because UConn cancelled the team’s season due to COVID-19.
Standing at 6-foot-6 and 307 pounds, Van Demark served as a team captain at UConn.
In addition to Raimann and Kelly, the Colts also added veteran tackle Jason Spriggs and 25-year-old tackle Brandon Kemp. The Colts will enter training camp with nine offensive tackles on their roster.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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