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The Indianapolis Colts will be rounding up the additions of the undrafted rookie free agent class following the 2023 NFL draft as they prepare for a big month of offseason training.

After concluding the draft with the biggest class of the Chris Ballard era (12), there will be a lot of competition on the roster to keep an eye on throughout OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the preseason.

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There are some really intriguing undrafted rookies who could push for a roster spot, but we only have one making the cut as of this writing. That certainly could change over the course of the next few months.

A lot is going to change over the next few months leading up to roster cuts at the end of August, but here’s a way-too-early prediction of the 53-man roster following the draft:

Quarterback (2)

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson looks for a receiver against South Florida during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Pos. First Second
QB Anthony Richardson Gardner Minshew

Analysis: Right off the bat we’re confronted with a philosophical question. Do plants scream when we rip them from the ground? Okay maybe not that philosophical. But the Colts will have a decision to make as to whether they keep two or three quarterbacks. They want Richardson to play as soon as possible, which makes me lean more on the side of carrying two on the active roster and one on the practice squad. We may not have a clear answer until training camp.

Notable Cuts: Sam Ehlinger, Nick Foles

Running Back (3)

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Pos. First Second Third
RB Jonathan Taylor Zack Moss Evan Hull

Analysis: With Taylor expected to return fully from a nagging ankle injury, there’s no reason to keep more than three running backs. The sixth-round pick in Hull makes the roster over Deon Jackson here partly because of rookie fever, but that will be a fun competition to watch over the summer.

Notable Cuts: Deon Jackson, Jake Funk

Wide Receiver (6)

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Pos. First Second Third Fourth
X-WR Michael Pittman Jr. Mike Strachan
Slot Josh Downs Isaiah McKenzie
Z-WR Alec Pierce Ashton Dulin

Analysis: The fight for the final spot will be interesting. Third-round pick Josh Downs should walk into the starting slot role while Ashton Dulin rounds out the top four. Strachan must prove himself worthy of a roster spot while McKenzie is no lock for the roster. UDFAs Zavier Scott and Cody Chrest will be the ones to watch given their elite athleticism.

Notable Cuts: Zavier Scott, Cody Chrest, Malik Turner

Tight End (5)

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Pos. First Second Third
Y-TE Mo Alie-Cox Jelani Woods Andrew Ogletree
F-TE Kylen Granson Will Mallory

Analysis: *Updated: Apparently I can’t count and only had 52 players. With that extra spot, Ogletree gets the call. You can read the original excerpt below.* 

This is going to be the most lively competition. The fifth-round pick in Mallory gets the nod here over Andrew Ogletree, but it could easily be flipped around. This room is just heating up, and I do wonder if the Colts feel strongly enough about Woods and Ogletree if they shop Alie-Cox when roster cuts are made.

Notable Cuts: Pharaoh Brown, Nikola Kalinic

Offensive Line (9)

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Pos. First Second
LT Bernhard Raimann Blake Freeland
LG Quenton Nelson
C Ryan Kelly Danny Pinter
RG Will Fries Emil Ekiyor
RT Braden Smith Jordan Murray

Analysis: As it currently stands, Raimann is the starting left tackle, and Fries will start at right guard. Ekiyor is the only undrafted rookie free agent to make the roster despite his injury history at Alabama. The fourth-rounder in Freeland will serve as the swing tackle while Murray could be replaced by the addition of a veteran.

Notable Cuts: Jake Witt, Carter O’Donnell

Defensive Line (9)

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Pos. First Second Third
DE Dayo Odeyingbo Tyquan Lewis
3-Tech DeForest Buckner Taven Bryan Adetomiwa Adebawore
1-Tech Grover Stewart Eric Johnson II
DE Kwity Paye Samson Ebukam

Analysis: There’s a lot of competition in this room. Paye and Odeyingbo project as the starting duo while Ebukam will see a lot of work as the LEO in Gus Bradley’s system. The positional versatility between Odeyingbo and Lewis gives the Colts a lot of flexibility while the competition between Bryan and fourth-rounder Adebawore will be fun to watch.

Notable Cuts: Titus Leo, Rashod Berry, Chris Williams

Linebacker (6)

Max Gersh/IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Pos. First Second
WILL E.J. Speed Grant Stuard
MIKE Shaquille Leonard Forrest Rhyne
SAM Zaire Franklin JoJo Domann

Analysis: This room could look very different by the time training camp ends. Leonard’s health is still up in the air, and we won’t know his status until August arrives. There are some intriguing names to keep an eye on for the final spot in the room but with no draft picks, the Colts stay with their established veterans.

Notable Cuts: Cameron McGrone, Segun Olubi

Cornerback (6)

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Pos. First Second Third
CB Julius Brents Dallis Flowers
Slot Kenny Moore II
CB Isaiah Rodgers Sr. Darius Rush Jaylon Jones

Analysis: This will be a fun room to watch. Brents likely walks into a starting role on the boundary while Moore can go back to the slot. Rodgers Sr. has positional versatility to work both on the outside and the nickel while rookies Rush and Jones will compete for the final spots. But they’re already more talented than the rest of the room. Maybe Tony Brown makes a claim due to special teams, but we’re going with the rookies here.

Notable Cuts: Tony Brown

Safety (4)

Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

Pos. First Second
SS Julian Blackmon Nick Cross
FS Rodney Thomas II Daniel Scott

Analysis: There’s a chance the Colts keep five safeties because they do like Trevor Denbow. The fifth-rounder in Scott gets the nod here due to his athleticism, but that will be the competition to watch. It will be interesting to see if they add a veteran.

Notable Cuts: Trevor Denbow, Marcel Dabo

Specialists (3)

Pos. Name
P Rigoberto Sanchez
K Matt Gay
LS Luke Rhodes

Analysis: Sanchez will be returning from a torn Achilles while Gay is one of the highest-paid kickers in the game. Both Sanchez and Rhodes are in contract years so it will be interesting to see if the Colts begin to look at the market in case they don’t return after 2023.

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