Colts’ pre-draft depth chart on defense

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Kevin Hickey
·4 min read
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The Indianapolis Colts are just about set to make some big additions to their roster with the 2021 NFL draft arriving on Thursday night.

Before the draft arrives, it’s a good idea to take a look at how the roster is currently constructed. There will be some pretty big changes by the time the weekend is over, and this can serve as a barometer for changes across the roster.

We already took a look at the depth chart on offense entering the draft, and there have already been some minor changes. Now, let’s take a look at the defensive side of the ball:

Defensive Line

Position

First

Second

Third

Fourth

DE

Kemoko Turay

Ben Banogu

DT (3t)

DeForest Buckner

Andrew Brown

Kameron Cline

Robert Windsor

DT (1t)

Grover Stewart

Taylor Stallworth

Chris Williams

DE

Tyquan Lewis

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Isaac Rochell

The Colts are seemingly giving their young players a chance at proving themselves. Turay, Banogu and Lewis are all likely competing for starting roles on the edge. Lewis has the ability to kick inside as well and could be looking for that Denico Autry role. The interior is set. Buckner and Stewart are the starters. Brown was a waiver claim this offseason and is likely to compete with Cline for the backup three-technique role while Stallworth, Williams and Windsor compete behind Stewart. Draft Take: The team's biggest need entering the draft is edge rusher. But seeing as they are likely trying to see what they have in their young players, to wouldn't be a surprise if the Colts wait a bit in the draft. Or they could add an edge rusher on Day 1 because it really is their biggest need.

Linebacker

Position

First

Second

Third

WILL

Darius Leonard

E.J. Speed

Jordan Glasgow

MIKE

Bobby Okereke

Skai Moore

SAM

Zaire Franklin

Matthew Adams

Outside of Anthony Walker Jr. signing with the Browns, this is the only position the Colts didn't add to at all this offseason. Leonard and Okereke will be the starters working nearly every snap. The Colts are in nickel about 75-80% of the time so the third backer really just needs to provide depth. That role could go to Speed, who hasn't seen much work in his two seasons since being drafted. Franklin, Adams and Glasgow will continue to be fixtures on special teams. Moore is expected to return after opting out of 2020. Draft Take: The Colts could add a lengthy, rangy linebacker to add depth after losing Walker in free agency. That pick likely won't come until Day 3 and would battle with Speed for the LB3 role behind Leonard and Okereke.

Cornerback

Position

First

Second

Third

CB

Xavier Rhodes

T.J. Carrie

Andre Chachere

Slot

Kenny Moore II

Isaiah Rodgers

Roderic Teamer

CB

Rock Ya-Sin

Marvell Tell

Will Sunderland

The Colts re-signed Rhodes and Carrie to one-year deals in free agency. Carrie is likely to battle with Ya-sin and Tell for the starting role on the boundary but also has the versatility to play in the slot. Rodgers will be an interesting player to watch as he battles for the backup slot role behind Moore. Chachere, Teamer and Sunderland were all futures signings. Draft Take: The Colts could look at address this position relatively early. The future of the position is uncertain, especially with question marks about Ya-Sin's consistency as a starter. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if the Colts selected a cornerback on Day 2.

Safety

Position

First

Second

Third

Strong Safety

Khari Willis

George Odum

Rolan Milligan

Free Safety

Julian Blackmon

Sean Davis

Ibraheim Campbell Nick Nelson

Willis and Blackmon are a fantastic starting duo. Davis was signed in free agency while Odum will likely continue his All-Pro work on special teams. Milligan returns after opting out while Campbell and Nelson are futures signings. Draft Take: Depth at safety is an underrated need but likely a position that won't be addressed until Day 3 if it is. The room is solid but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Colts take an athletic prospect with some upside in one of the final rounds.

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