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Depth Chart Updates and Thoughts

Well, analysis after just two days of camp means about as much as draft day grades, but we're bringing it to you anyway, because we're bloggers and over-analyzing is what we do best. 

Before we get into anything noteworthy, let's take a minute and re-evaluate what training camp notes are. 

First, don't be fooled by the phrase: 'Player X is outplaying Player Y." If a backup player sticks out a bit more than a starter in camp, that doesn't mean that the backup should be thrust into a starting role. All it means is that he's giving himself the best opportunity by allowing coaches to notice him. Training camp is time for coaches to experiment and figure out the bottom half of the roster. How fans see one player "outplaying" another could be VERY different from how coaches see it.* 

*That being said, you know I'll probably use that very phrase later on in camp and then decry coaches for not picking my guy. I'm hypocritical like that.

Second, seeing "so-and-so worked with the first team today" doesn't mean that the coaches have pigeon-holed that player as a first-string player. Lots of different players will get chances to catch passes from Andrew Luck, and units like the offensive and defensive line will be played with to find the best fits. We'll try to piece together clues as best we can to figure out what the depth chart looks like, but nothing is set in stone. 

With that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the depth chart updates from the first two days of training camp. 

The offensive line rotation, as of now, seems to be the following:

First Team- Castonzo, Thomas, Satele, McGlynn, Cherilus

Second Team- Sowell, Reitz, Holmes, Linkenbach, Cleary

Third Team- Ijalana, Griffin, Schmeig, Ziemba, Anderson

  • Nothing surprising here, except for UDFA Emmett Cleary working out as the second-team right tackle. I've said all along that he has the best chance of making the roster of any of the UDFAs, simply due to the lack of talent at tackle. 
  • I really hope Benjamin Ijalana can work his way past Bradley Sowell for a spot as a tackle on the roster. I still have nightmares about Paul Kruger beating Sowell black and blue in the playoffs. 
  • Once Hugh Thornton returns from injury (foot), you have to figure he'd take Linkenbach's spot at guard. Linkenbach worked as the third-string guard in mini-camp, and it's getting more and more difficult to see a spot on the roster for him. 

The defensive line is much more fluid at this point, but players like Ricky Jean Francois, Cory Redding, Drake Nevis, Josh Chapman and Ricardo Mathews all have gotten time with the first team. Bjoern Werner has gotten a lot of time with the first team as well. Inside linebackers have been Jerrell Freeman and Kavell Conner/Kelvin Sheppard, with Pat Angerer still on the PUP. 

Mathews is the most surprising name to me. With all the additions to the defensive line, I thought he had the most chance of being pushed out of the rotation. I'm not complaining, mind you. I like Mathews a lot as a rotational guy. We'll see what happens as camp moves on. 

The only other depth chart updates have come at wide receiver, where Wayne and Heyward-Bey have been the clear No. 1 and No. 2. But, Hilton has reportedly been impressing with his play, while Heyward-Bey's hands look just as inconsistent as they were in Oakland. It would be hard for Heyward-Bey to play himself out of his position, as he's really the only experienced X (split-end) wide receiver that the Colts have, but not impossible.

Griff Whalen has been getting a lot of second-team and a few first-team snaps, and is a pretty safe bet to make the roster at this point, in my opinion. The team has liked him during the past two years in that Y (slot) role, and he continues to impress in training camp (for whatever that's worth). 

That's the basic updates after two days, which, again, don't mean a whole lot at this point. The team starts their padded practices today, which should add a realistic layer to things, but things will really start to become intriguing once preseason games start up. 

Kyle J. Rodriguez

About Kyle J. Rodriguez

A film and numbers guru, Kyle writes about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for Bleacher Report, Draft Mecca and The Football Educator, and is a co-founder and associate editor of Colts Authority. Kyle also is a high school sports reporter for the MLive Media Group in Michigan, covering high school sports across the state.

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