This is possibly the most intriguing unit going into training camp. There will be a lot of moving parts along the defensive line all season long.
Rushing the passer is something the Colts did fine in spots last season, but they didn’t have a player who could do it consistently. They fixed that by signing Justin Houston to a two-year deal. His ability to rush the passer consistently is a big reason to watch the D-line during camp.
Houston should be the starter at one of the end positions opposite of Jabaal Sheard. Denico Autry and Margus Hunt should be the starters at defensive tackle. But there will be a rotation along the line. Tyquan Lewis, Gerri Green, Al-Quadin Muhammad, and Kemoko Turay will get a lot of playing time too. Ben Banogu could also be put at defensive end. He, Turay, and Lewis will see a lot of time.
Because of all of that depth, the defensive line is one of the stronger units on the entire team this year. They were able to get a lot of pass rushers, which is what they wanted. Their ability to rush the passer this season will help the backend of the defense.
These nine players will make the team. After that, it’s anybody’s guess. Grover Stewart might keep his spot, but he has had his chance to make an impact already. It will be interesting to watch who makes the team and how many linemen the Colts decide to carry.
The most intriguing thing to watch during camp is to see how they use Houston in certain situations. He is a decent run stopper, but makes his money rushing the passer. The rotation is something to watch early in camp for sure.