4 Colts players who could lose snaps to rookies in 2024

Which veterans could lose out on playing time this season?
Indianapolis Colts, Alec Pierce
Indianapolis Colts, Alec Pierce / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The AFC South is going to be a whole lot more competitive and fun to watch, in 2024, than it has been in recent years. The Indianapolis Colts kind of took the opposite approach that Tennessee and Houston did, though.

This offseason, the Colts have been all about keeping the band together while adding more talent through the draft.

Rewarding their own players with new deals while building youth is the name of the game for Chris Ballard and company. So, how are things looking, across the board, heading into the coming campaign?

The Colts' roster is much better equipped after the 2024 NFL Draft

Which situations could see rookies overtake veterans in 2024? These players may have to be worried.

JuJu Brents, CB

Right now, JuJu Brents is starting on the outside at cornerback and, barring anything unforeseen, he will likely enter the season as the starter. But, the Colts did invest a fifth-round pick in Jaylin Simpson. The Auburn product could compete with Brents, who was a liability against the run and, for lack of a better term, 'fine' in coverage.

Now, Brents did come up with six pass breakups in eight starts last season, which is impressive. So, there are plenty of reasons to believe Brents will hang onto the starting job. But, Simpson will at least have a shot to impress.

Will Fries, G

Will Fries is a starting guard in Indy, right now, but struggled in run blocking in 2023. The Colts took Wisconsin interior lineman Tanor Bortolini in the fourth round, and the former Badger had one of the best Combine performances at his position.

Bortolini is ultra-athletic and gets out in space, in the run game, very well. If Bortolini shows what he did at the Combine, but during camp this summer, we could see a battle heat up.

Dayo Odeyingbo, DE

This one is a no-brainer. After the Colts drafted Laiatu Latu in Round 1, Dayo Odeyingbo immediately took a back seat. The Colts will undoubtedly still use a committee approach in rushing the passer, because it has worked extremely well for them recently. But, Odeyingbo will see the most harm done to his playing time.

Samson Ebukam and Kwity Paye both played over 60 percent of snaps last year, while Odeyingbo played 53. That should be all you need to know. Odeyingbo is stil a very good player and will get his time, but Latu is going to absorb some from all three of these guys.

Alec Pierce, WR

When Indianapolis drafted Adonai Mitchell in Round 2, fans were excited to see the team invest in another playmaker that this offense had been lacking. He should end up being the perfect fit opposite Michael Pittman Jr.

Two years ago, we were saying similar things about Alec Pierce after the Colts selected him in the second round. Hopefully, Mitchell can live up to the hype and make more of an instant impact. At the moment, it appears as though Pierce will be behind Mitchell on the depth chart, so he'll see a decrease in playing time if all remains this way.