The Colts Offense is making strides this year with lots of young, new talent and some absolute veteran stars. Starting with Offense, who makes the cut?
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The 2022 NFL Season is approaching quickly and that means the Colts have some decisions to make. Lying in the balance is the makeup of the initial 53-man roster. The NFL’s roster cut deadline is Tuesday, August 30. Let’s take a look at who makes the cut on Offense.
The Colts Offensive Roster Has Taken Shape Ahead Of Week One
Keep: Matt Ryan, Nick Foles
Release: Sam Ehlinger
After an underwhelming year with Carson Wentz at the helm, the team set its sights on someone who can elevate the current roster. Matt Ryan absolutely does that. From his decision-making to his production, and his leadership, Ryan looks and sounds like the Colts’ starting quarterback.
Of course, no quarterback room is complete without a solid backup, and who better than former Super Bowl Champion Nick Foles to shore up that role? Foles brings plenty of experience and a Frank Reich connection to the table. Unfortunately, this leaves Sam Ehlinger out of the picture. If he clears waivers, he likely ends up back on the practice squad.
Running Backs (Four)
Keep: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Phillip Lindsay, Deon Jackson
Release: Ty’Son Williams, D’Vonte Price
Without question, Jonathan Taylor is your starting running back for the foreseeable future. The re-emergence of Nyheim Hines, with contributions from Phillip Lindsay, will certainly give this Running Back room some life. With plans to reduce Taylor’s workload this season, Nyheim should see plenty of touches, including some in the slot, and Lindsay should be a nice change up to the role. The fourth running back spot is a mystery, but Deon Jackson has a history with the Colts. He rounds out your Running Back room.
Wide Receivers (Six)
Keep: Michael Pittman, Jr., Parris Campbell, Alec Pierce, Dezmon Patmon, Mike Strachan, Ashton Dulin
Release: KeKe Coutee, Samson Nacua, De’Michael Harris, Ethan Fernea
Michael Pittman, Jr. is the top Wide Receiver on the Colts roster. Parris Campbell, pending health, is your number two and rookie Alex Pierce is presumably the number three. After that, it gets really tough to say who stays and who goes. The wrinkle in the framework here is how young the remaining players are and how little production they have. General Manager Chris Ballard maintains that he’s excited about the group. The Colts will certainly need excitement as Patmon, Strachan, and Dulin only have a combined 20 receptions and two touchdowns.
Tight Ends (Four)
Keep: Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, Jelani Woods, Michael Jacobson
Release: Nikola Kalinic
The Tight Ends might be the most under-hyped group of the entire roster, but they are garnering attention. Matt Ryan will have some massive new targets in Mo Alie-Cox, Jelani Woods, and Michael Jacobson. Cox is six-foot-five and Woods and Jacobson come in at a whopping six-foot-seven! Granson, not to be forgotten, will fit nicely into the group as a YAC (Yards After Catch) target or Wide Receiver type of Tight End at six-foot-two. Expect this group to become red zone targets throughout the season, with a focus on exposing weaknesses in opposing defenses.
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Offensive Line (Eight)
Confirmed: Matt Pryor, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Danny Pinter, Braden Smith, Bernhard Raimann, Wesley French, Will Fries
Released: Josh Seltzner, Ryan Van Denmark, Jordan Murray, Dennis Kelly
The Colts Offensive line has many question marks dating back to last season related to the Left Tackle position and depth. Matt Pryor is the starter at Left Tackle for now, but rookie Bernhard Raimann will push Pryor and has taken a king’s ransom of snaps in the preseason to support that prediction. Optimism says Raimann is your starter by the season’s end.
Regarding depth, look for the Colts to keep a revolving door until they find quality. It’s very typical of Chris Ballard to take this approach and he’ll be looking to add to Wesley French and Will Fries. This leaves Seltzner, Van Denmark, Murray, and Kelly on the outside looking in. Dennis Kelly could be back pending his recent knee surgery.