Stock up, Stock down from Colts’ preseason opener

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Indianapolis Colts began their shortened preseason with an impressive victory at home over the Carolina Panthers.

This coming after a couple of heated joint practices that contained more than a couple of scuffles between the players of each team. With the victory, we come another week closer to the regular season, and closer still to NFL mandated roster cut deadlines.

This season’s roster cuts will be particularly difficult for the Colts, who have solid young depth throughout the roster. With those cuts looming, we’ll take a look at three players whose stock is on the rise and who may be making a strong case for a final roster spot.

Also, we will look at a couple of players whose stock seems to be on more of a downward trend and may be on the outside looking in with two preseason games to go.

Following the first preseason games, here’s a look at the stock report:

Stock Up: QB Jacob Eason

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

It was an impressive first outing for Eason, who stepped on the field for the first time since 2019. For the majority of his work, Eason showed off a strong arm able to make any throw in the book. As he got going, it was clear he was building confidence and wound up giving a solid performance. As long as he continues to develop his feel for the edge rush, climb the pocket with a bit more urgency and stay willing to take shots downfield, Eason should provide the Colts with solid depth in the quarterback room. - Kevin Hickey

Stock Down: DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Muhammad has mostly been a stable part of the defensive line rotation in Indianapolis for the last three seasons. While not the headline-grabbing likes of a Justin Houston, Muhammad was a reliable pass rusher in a room of mostly young and inconsistent draft picks. However, he seems to be having a quiet training camp thus far against subpar offensive line competition. These mostly reserve tackles and guards have been dominated by those very same young options he has beat out in recent years. Should he fail to make an impression and show products similar to what has been reported of players like Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu, Muhammad could be on the chopping block. - Nick Melillo

Stock Up: DB Andre Chachere

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Chachere has quietly carved out a very important role for himself throughout training camp. In the secondary, versatility is the one of the most important skills a player can bring to the table, and Chachere brings exactly that in more ways than one. With injuries at both safety and corner, Chachere has been taking full advantage spending time at both spots, while also providing the ability to play the nickel position as well. Players like him are key for a successful season, and he should be close to a lock for a final roster spot at this point. - Nick Melillo

Stock Down: OTs

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Offensive tackles Sam Tevi, Will Holden, and Julién Davenport could each be worthy of the largest stock drop so far this training camp and preseason. None of the three have separated from the pack in a positive way, and most snaps are painful to watch the blindside protection. It seems no matter the level of competition, be it first string or third, the pass rush always seems to be winning the majority of the battles. The Colts must hope one of these players can show a large amount of improvement in a short period of time to give the team even a decent chance of keeping whoever the starting QB might be upright and healthy this year. - Nick Melillo

Stock Up: QB Sam Ehlinger

AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

Ehlinger picked up the Colts offense faster than anybody could have anticipated from the sixth-round pick out of Texas. Due to the unfortunate injury and uncertain time frame surrounding starting quarterback Carson Wentz, Ehlinger and Eason have been battling back and forth for the backup position and likely at least one regular-season start. To that end, Ehlinger will be getting the nod to start the second preseason game according to head coach Frank Reich, and he managed to make the most of his snaps against the Panthers. Ehlinger ran well leading the Colts in rushing with 30 yards on eight attempts. While he did have an interception thrown, Ehlinger rebounded nicely leading the game-winning drive in an impressive outing going 10 of 15 passing for 155 yards. With the injuries at the position, it seems likely the Colts will keep both Ehlinger and Eason on the active roster for at least the start of the season. Who will come out on top in the battle to back up Wentz remains to be seen, but we look forward to watching much more from these young quarterbacks this preseason as the stock on these names keeps rising. - Nick Melillo

Stock Down: WR Ashton Dulin

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Colts have a very crowded wide receiver room and with four spots already locked up, the competition is heavy entering the final two preseason games. Dulin, who has a slight advantage over the others due to his special teams work, may be on the outside looking in. The emergence of rookie Mike Strachan (more on him in a bit) has made life difficult for Dulin and his chances to make the roster. Couple that with the fact that other young wide receivers like Dezmon Patmon and Tyler Vaughns have shown out during camp and the preseason opener, and it's easy to see why Dulin is on the bubble. Though he's the best gunner in the wide receiver room, that may not be enough to keep Dulin on the roster if Strachan and Co. prove to be far superior receivers. - Kevin Hickey

Stock Up: WR Mike Strachan

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Strachan has had the media buzzing seemingly every day about his play so fair in training camp. Even better, he brought that same highlight reel ability in some impressive grabs during preseason play as well. His rise up the depth chart has been well noted, and has drawn the high praise of Colts greats and wideout greats alike including Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, and Chad Johnson. The 6-foot-5, 228-pound matchup nightmare recorded three receptions for 57 yards, including an impressive 32-yard jump-ball catch from Jacob Eason in the preseason win. Strachan has a crowded and talented wideout room around him, however, if he should continue to impress the way he has to this point, it would be impossible to keep him off the final roster. - Nick Melillo

1

1