Colts have one of the NFL’s youngest rosters, with young players in pivotal positions

Entering the 2023 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts will be one of the league’s youngest teams. They’ll need to grow up fast if they want to win games.
Aug 24, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5)
Aug 24, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson (5) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Now that teams have trimmed their rosters down to 53 players, there are several takeaways from the 32 rosters, as the league preparers for the 2023 season. One takeaway is age and experience. Out of all current NFL active rosters, the Indianapolis Colts have the third-youngest average age at 25.8 years. The Green Bay Packers (25.5) and Los Angeles Rams (25.7) come in at first & second youngest, respectively.

The Colts have nobody who’s older than 30 years old. They do, however, have two 30-year-olds on the roster who coincidentally are both the snappers of the team — C Ryan Kelly and LS Luke Rhodes. On the flip side, the horseshoe is donned by three 21-year-olds in QB Anthony Richardson, S Nick Cross, & CB Jaylon Jones. Richardson was also elected team captain as a 21-year-old rookie by his peers on Thursday.

With players this young at quarterback and in the secondary, it’s clear that Indianapolis is relying on some relatively inexperienced players. But, the young guys may be prepared to grow up fast.

Colts will rely on a lot of young players

Nick Cross and Jaylon Jones headline what is inarguably, outside of Kenny Moore II, the youngest and most inexperienced DB room in the league. Kenny Moore II and Julian Blackmon are the only defensive backs on the active roster with over 1,000 defensive snaps logged (Moore with 4,710 & Blackmon with 2,071).

Second-year free safety Rodney Thomas II and veteran cornerback Tony Brown are next in line with 720 and 438 defensive snaps. The remaining five defensive backs on the active roster have a combined 296 defensive snaps played.

There will be plenty of growing pains for the youth-laden 2023 Colts but they have an opportunity to grow together as teammates both on and off-the-field. As Colts GM Chris Ballard mentioned, the youth movement is here and it will be lead by the youngest player on the team in Anthony Richardson.