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On the Bubble: Which players are perceived as bubble players?

While some players are guaranteed a roster spot, as long as they're healthy, the majority of players on the 90-man roster will be in danger of losing their jobs come August. With training camp just a few weeks away, one of the things that we'll be talking a lot about are the so-called "bubble" players.

These "bubble" players are ones that we see as right on the edge of the 53-man roster, ones that wouldn't surprise us to see cut or kept when the August 31 deadline rolls around.

Everybody has their opinions on these bubble players, so, while working on my training camp primer for Bleacher Report last night, I asked the world of Twitter who they saw as bubble players as we near camp.

The results were interesting, to say the least. Here were the most mentioned players, in descending order.

Ben Ijalana

Delone Carter

Brandon McKinney

Justice Cunningham

Mike McGlynn

Weslye Saunders

Daxton Swanson

Sheldon Price

Others receiving votes:

Dan Moore, LaVon Brazill, Samson Satele, Jeremy Kelley, Nathan Palmer, Cassius Vaughn, Josh Gordy, Drake Nevis, Griff Whalen, Donald Brown, Jeff Linkenbach, Teddy Williams, Joe Reitz, Ricardo Mathews, Justin Hickman, Dominique Jones

 

My list included a lot of the players on this list, and one who wasn't mentioned at all:

Emmett Cleary is a guy that I wouldn't be surprised to make the roster that doesn't have a lot of hype right now. The reasoning behind Cleary being on that bubble is two-fold.

First, the Colts' depth at tackle is non-existent. Jeff Linkenbach is the only backup I'd trust at all, and he's been practicing as the third-string guard. Ijalana has some potential there, as does Justin Anderson, but all-in-all, if one of the starters go down, it's a really bad sign for Andrew Luck.

Second, Cleary was one of the most sought-after undrafted free agents. Cleary was named Gil Brandt's second-best OL available and his $20,000 signing bonus was the second-highest given to any individual UDFA this year. With decent potential and a weak position for the Colts, Cleary will have a shot at earning a spot in training camp.

A few other notes on 'bubble' perceptions:

  • A few players mentioned that I would be surprised to see cut: McGlynn, Satele, Brown, Nevis, Brazill, Vaughn, Linkenbach, Reitz
  • I know McGlynn and Satele were bad last season, but while I could see them losing their starting spots, I'd be shocked if they were cut outright.
  • I really like Ricardo Mathews as a depth end, but he's definitely a bubble player. There's just too much competition on the DL. Nevis, however, would be a surprise to see cut. The only thing that makes that happen, IMO, is an injury.
  • Justin Hickman is, on the other hand, one of the bubble players I fully expect to make it. He's versatile, being able to play both inside and outside linebacker, and is a strong special-teamer. He should be one of the final LB spots.
  • The CB 'bubble' list is long, and includes Gordy, Swanson, Price, T. Williams, and Marshay Green. Swanson has versatility to play safety, which will be an advantage, but I also like Williams' potential. He's still adjusting to football after not playing in college, and has natural speed that is enticing.

These lists will flex and evolve as training camp progresses, and it's one of the most intriguing parts of training camp. Let me know your top bubble players as we head into August, via Twitter or in the comments.

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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