1st Impressions of Colts Unveiled Depth Chart
The Indianapolis Colts released their first depth chart on Tuesday, and while a handful of positions are far from decided, it gives fans at least a general idea of what to anticipate going forward:
Among the biggest takeaways from this depth chart are as follows:
Hugh Thornton is still listed at starting right guard despite promising 2nd-year pro Denzelle Good receiving the majority of the 1st team reps recently in training camp practices. This could simply be a motivating carrot for Good to continue to work hard, helping the massive horse get to the finish line quicker. However, I’d be surprised right now if Good doesn’t ultimately win the starting job the way things are currently playing out.
- Sio Moore is actually starting alongside veteran D’Qwell Jackson at inside linebacker. While Nate Irving was thought to be the early favorite, it’s actually Moore who’s the starter at the “Will” position. Moore is arguably the best athlete of the group and the Colts could use an infusion of speed and athleticism at the 2nd level of their defense. From that sense, Moore makes sense.
Robert Turbin remains the primary backup running back behind starter Frank Gore. While Turbin has been inconsistent in his prior stops with the Seahawks, Browns, and Cowboys, the 5th-year veteran appears to have a hold on the running back position ahead of the likes of younger rushers such as undrafted running back Josh Ferguson.
- Zach Kerr is the starter at defensive tackle, which means he could be the defensive lineman receiving the starts in the wake of Henry Anderson and Art Jones‘ absence respectively. As you may recall, Anderson could be a strong candidate to begin the regular season on PUP, while Jones is suspended the first four games of the regular season because of performance-enhancing drugs.
Rookie 7th round pick Trevor Bates is the 2nd team backup strongside linebacker to Erik Walden. While Bates has been envisioned more as a developmental pass rusher long-term, the Colts could be deploying him as more of a run-oriented outside linebacker from the get-go. It makes some sense, as the team has previously contemplated playing Bates at inside linebacker, meaning that he should be a pretty sure tackler all things considered.
Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to put too much stock into an early training camp depth chart. Not only because many things can change–and a lot of positions can assuredly still be won or lost this training camp and continuing into preseason, but also because NFL lineups aren’t nearly as black and white as a depth chart on Sundays.
For instance, if starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo were to miss time because of injury (knock on wood), does anyone really think that Kevin Graf is going to be entrusted with protecting Andrew Luck‘s blindside?
No disrespect to Graf, but Joe Reitz likely flips to left tackle, Denzelle Good switches to starting right tackle, and Hugh Thornton takes over/resumes the starting right guard job. That’s something that a depth chart simply doesn’t show you.
That’s not too say that depth charts can’t be insightful, but at the same time–much like anything else, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Still it’s a great way to at least get a general idea of how certain positions are shaping up for the Colts early on in training camp.