The Colts Release Depth Chart Prior to the Season Opener

Ahead of the season opener on Sunday against the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts released their first unofficial depth chart. The Colts made various changes to the roster and coaching staff in the offseason.

With the first game of the year for Indy right around the corner, here’s a look at the depth chart:

Offense

QB: Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Sam Ehlinger

RB: Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Deon Jackson

WR: Michael Pittman Jr., Ashton Dulin

WR: Alec Pierce, Mike Strachan, Dezmon Patmon

WR: Parris Campbell

TE: Mo Alie-Cox

TE: Kylen Granson, Jelani Woods

LT: Matt Pryor, Bernhard Raimann

LG: Quenton Nelson

C: Ryan Kelly, Wesley French

RG: Danny Pinter, Will Fries

RT: Braden Smith, Dennis Kelly, Luke Tenuta

Defense

DE: Kwity Paye, Tyquan Lewis, Dayo Odeyingbo

DT: DeForest Buckner, Byron Cowart

NT: Grover Stewart, Eric Johnson II

DE: Yannick Ngakoue, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Ben Banogu

WLB: Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed, Grant Stuard

MLB: Shaquille Leonard

SAM: Zaire Franklin, JoJo Domann

CB: Stephon Gilmore, Isaiah Rodgers

CB: Brandon Facyson, Dallis Flowers

N: Kenny Moore II

FS: Julian Blackmon, Rodney Thomas II

SS: Nick Cross, Rodney McLeod Jr.

Special Teams

P: Matt Haack

PK: Rodrigo Blankenship

H: Matt Haack

LS: Luke Rhodes

KR: Isaiah Rodgers, Ashton Dulin

PR: Nyheim Hines

Colts Depth Chart Analysis

On the offensive side of the ball, former MVP Matt Ryan highlights the start of the depth chart. Frank Reich and the Colts are eager to find their stop-gap quarterback and end the quarterback carousel. While Matt Ryan, 37, may only be the answer for the next couple of years, the seasoned veteran could be the key to an Indianapolis championship run.

Michael Pittman Jr. could find himself making another leap in year three with one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league under center. Aside from Pittman Jr., rookie Alec Pierce, and former second-round pick Parris Campbell are both looking to make their mark. While Pierce is looking to get his toes wet in the league, Campbell has been plagued with injuries in his first three seasons as a Colt.

Jonathan Taylor will look to maintain his dominance at running back, while Nyheim Hines will look to break into the lineup as a hybrid running back/receiver this season. The Colts’ offense could be explosive with both backs on the field.

The offensive line looks different from last season. With former center Danny Pinter converting to the right guard position and last year’s depth swing tackle Matt Pryor filling the void at left tackle, the offensive line could be a position to keep an eye on. Nonetheless, Indianapolis has two All-Pros in guard Quenton Nelson and center Ryan Kelly on their line. The two anchors that are desperately needed to hold down this group.

Indy’s tight end group will be interesting to watch. Six-foot-five Mo Alie-Cox, six-foot-seven Jelani Woods, and former SMU speedster Kylen Granson fill the room. The height and speed this group contributes will be a fun group of options for Ryan in the red zone.

On the opposite side of the ball, the Colts’ defense has also bulked up this offseason. In a talented AFC, it’s only fitting for there to be playmakers on both ends of the field.

The addition of Yannick Ngakoue and the expected leap of second-year man Kwity Paye could lead to a massive season for star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Grover Stewart will be a name to watch as well. In the final preseason game, Stewart single-handedly destroyed the Buccaneers’ offensive line in his limited snaps. It’s been a long time since the Colts have had a consistent pass rush, but there’s no better time than the present.

Another huge offseason move was the signing of former DPOY Stephon Gilmore. Since entering the league, the SEC product has been among the best at the cornerback position. If Gilmore can stay away from injuries, he will add another lockdown defender alongside pro bowl nickel corner Kenny Moore II.

Shaquille Leonard and Bobby Okereke lead the linebacker room for Indy. While Leonard is still recovering from offseason surgery, his status for Week 1 remains in the air. When Leonard returns, the Colts will have one of the most talented linebacker cores in the league.

Rookie Nick Cross has put together an excellent offseason camp, and the coaches took notice, naming him the team’s starting strong safety. Cross will be opposite ballhawk free safety Julian Blackmon, who is returning from an Achilles injury in 2021. With a talented secondary, this team looks to make passing downs tough on opposing teams.

The Colts’ starting punter, Rigoberto Sanchez, tore his Achilles two weeks ago, and the team quickly filled the role with punter Matt Haack. While special teams positions are often overlooked, the loss of Sanchez will be felt. With long snapper Luke Rhodes feeding him the ball on fourth down, Haack hopes to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Nyheim Hines and Ashton Dulin will be the team’s returners this year. Dulin was a Pro Bowler last year for his special teams work, and while he looks to take on a more significant role in the offense, he will continue to be the Colts’ kickoff returner. Hines will be the team’s punt returner, and the NC State alum’s shiftiness is a big part of why.

In a talented AFC, this Colts team looks to compete with some of the best. They will look to defeat the Texans as step one on their road towards a division championship and the chase for a Super Bowl.