As the Indianapolis Colts inch their way toward training camp, let's take a look at some mandatory minicamp standouts to keep an eye on come late July.
With training camp on the horizon and roster spots up for grabs, it's important to highlight a few of the best performers from minicamp. The Indianapolis Colts are notably deep at multiple positions so the battle for roster spots at those positions will be more fierce than others.
For clarification, this is not to unjustly predict an unforeseen ascension to the top of the depth chart. These players are on the fringe but are trending towards making the team after their efforts in minicamp.
Being signed to the Houston Texans back in 2018 as an undrafted free agent, Vyncint Smith is the oldest of the bunch. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound D2 product (Limestone University) spent three seasons with the New York Jets, starting four games during that span before eventually bouncing around practice squads before settling on Indianapolis'.
Smith has been uber-productive alongside Anthony Richardson in their short time together, hauling in a 65-yard bomb on the first day of minicamp and following that up with a nice sideline connection the next day. Michael Pittman Jr. was sidelined with an injury during minicamp, and so was rookie Josh Downs, so Smith's practice time was elevated thanks to that. Regardless, Smith showed out
As the Colts WR room remains cuthroat as far as roster spots go, keep an eye on the early established connection of Smith-Richardson in training camp.
Jake Funk is headed into his second-year in the NFL and is primed to make a push for a roster spot come preseason time. He clearly sits behind the likes of Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss on the depth chart but has since made a solid case for RB3 against Deon Jackson and rookie Evan Hull.
Similarly to Vyncint Smith's situation, Funk too had two teammates ahead of him at his position who were inactive at minicamp: Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss. With these two out, Funk was taking first-team reps both days of camp. Probably nothing, but maybe something.
Funk is likely being considered for his ability in the special teams game, but when you're fighting for a roster spot, you have to possess some sort of versatility. Be on the lookout for any Funk sightings in training camp, because before you know it you might be singing, "Let's Groove tonight!"
Jaylon Jones is certainly an intriguing player to watch for as we enter the Shane Steichen-era of Colts football. Even prior to the Isaiah Rodgers Sr. gambling scandal, Jones was one of the bigger upside players in this Colts cornerback room. He is a former top-three DB recruit in the country (2020), started 29/34 games at South Carolina, and was only targeted 19 times in the entire 2022 season.
The potential of a Day 3 NFL draftee is one thing, but Jones has balled out on the field since becoming a Colt. Now granted, that field is a practice field against other players who are also trying to find their way, but Jones certainly doesn't lack talent. He intercepted Ehlinger in 7-on-7s and received early praise from Kenny Moore II. Maybe, just maybe, he's on his way.
With how inexperienced the CB room stands, don't overlook the possibility of Jones commanding playing time with his play in training camp and beyond. Between himself, Funk, and Smith, Jones likely has the best shot at making the 53-man roster.