Almost two weeks into training camp, and the final roster is slowly becoming clearer. The first preseason game is almost upon us, and I bring you my first guess at guessing the Colts final roster. Note that the order I list players means nothing. This is just guessing the final roster, not the depth chart.
QB: Peyton Manning, Curtis Painter. The Colts must like this kid Manning at QB, they've kept him for over a decade. He's not going anywhere. No one will supplant Painter this year. Nate Davis has looked shaky in training camp and Orlovsky just hasn't shown enough yet. If Painter plays terrible in preseason and Orlovsky plays well, it might happen. But until then Painter is the back up.
RB: Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, Delone Carter, Devon Moore. First three aren't a surprise, and Moore will do kick returns.
WR: Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, Anthony Gonzalez, David Gilreath. Blair White doesn't bring anything special to the table. He has solid hands and a great work ethic, but he just doesn't have the talent. Gilreath is expected to do punt returns and I don't expect the Colts to keep around 6 WRs, so White gets cut.
TE: Dallas Clark, Jacob Tamme, Brody Eldridge. No surprises among the TE's here.
OT: Anthony Castonzo, Ryan Diem, Ben Ijalana, Jeff Linkenbach. Not much to debate over this, the debate is who will start...
OG: Jacques McClendon, Joe Reitz, Mike Pollak, Kyle Devan, Jaimie Thomas. Joe Reitz has been starting in training camp, so the Colts must like him somewhat. Kyle Devan and Mike Pollak have likely reached their potential, but the rest are wild cards. There is no telling how they will turn out, but I am very hopeful for McClendon.
C: Jeff Saturday, Jake Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick has been impressing the front office in training camp, so I'm guessing he will be the backup center this year.
DE: Jerry Hughes, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Jamaal Anderson , Eric Foster. I expect Anderson to get the back up back up DE job. No reason to expect he will not this year unless John Chick beats him out for it.
DT: Fili Moala, Drake Nevis, Ricardo Matthews, Antonio Johnson, Tommie Harris. This might be the hardest position to cut someone here. Ricardo Matthews, Drake Nevis, and Fili Moala all have great potential. While Antonio Johnson and Tommie Harris have likely reached their potential. But Antonio Johnson is valuable as a 1 tech DT so I think he gets to stay around.
LLB: Pat Angerer, Philip Wheeler. Angerer proved to be a surprise last year and took Wheeler's job as the starter. And in all likelihood nothing will change here.
MLB: Gary Brackett, Adrian Moten. While Angerer is a MLB by choice, he is still starting at another position. Which means we still need a back up back up if he goes down. Moten is the best option we have, and we really don't have many options here.
RLB: Kavell Conner, Ernie Sims. Not much debate here, the debate lies in who will start. No telling though what Sims might've lost by getting sick, but I think he will get the back up job. Get well soon Sims!
CB: Jerraud Powers, Jacob Lacey, Justin Tryon, Kevin Thomas, Chris Rucker. I think Cornelius Brown just get's edged out here, but there's no telling if the Colts have plans for him at safety since the back up jobs are wide open.
FS: Antonie Bethea, Al Afalava. I'm not sure about the starter here... You really just don't know what you'll get with Bethea, I mean only two Pro Bowls? We'll see what happens in preseason... But like I said, the back up job is open season. There is just no telling who will get it.
SS: Melvin Bullitt, Mike Newton, Joe Lefeged. Mike Newton showed some promise last training camp, but I guess anyone can look good picking off Curtis Painter, which really isn't that hard to do...
P: Pat McAfee. Unless he gets drunk and goes swimming in rivers again, he's the unquestioned starter.
K:Adam Vinatieri. As if this spot wasn't obvious enough, Vinny is likely the starter here until he retires, and I'm perfectly happy with that.
LS: Justin Snow. He's been the long snapper for years, and he's one of the best in the league at it. He's not going anywhere.