Top 5 Colts Positional Battles to Watch: Post-Draft
Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports; Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2. Cornering the Competition
Incumbent: Greg Toler
Challenger: D’Joun Smith
The Colts cornerbacks weren’t an issue entering the draft, as the team has a trio of solid cornerbacks led by one of the league’s premier coverman in Vontae Davis with two proven veterans in Greg Toler and Darius Butler rounding out the group. Nevertheless, the team still decided to draft Florida Atlantic cornerback D’Joun Smith with an early 3rd round pick.
Such a selection should seemingly be a non-issue; however, it’s worth noting that Toler is in the last year of his original contract that was signed back in 2013 and will be a free agent at season’s end. The 7-year veteran has occasionally flashed brilliance in coverage starting on the other side of Davis, but has been marred by periods of inconsistency.
While Toler is the heavy favorite to start the opening game, he could see a much shorter leash as the season progresses, should he struggle. The Colts clearly drafted Smith early in the draft to have him become a starting cornerback of the future, and if it’s not for “the now”, it will likely be for “the soon”. Toler figures to hold off Smith for at least next season, but what happens beyond that is really anybody’s guess.
His counterpart Butler appears to be much safer from Smith, given that he’s a natural in the slot as the Colts third (nickel) cornerback. Toler doesn’t appear to be as fortunate, and this could be a cornerback competition to monitor going forward.