INDIANAPOLIS – When talks turn to the future of the Colts' defense, three rookies from last season are most often mentioned.
Henry Anderson, Clayton Geathers and David Parry all started at times in 2015 and are in line to do the same this season.
A name missing from that trio is 2015 third-round pick D'Joun Smith, the highest draft selection of the guys mentioned above.
Injuries defined Smith's rookie campaign.
An initial trip to injured reserve kept Smith sidelined for the first 10 weeks of 2015.
When Smith did return, 20 snaps was the only action he would see in 2015 before going on IR for good in late December.
Smith uses the word "humbling" to describe his NFL debut season.
"When I say humble, I mean being able to take coaching, not thinking that I have everything figured out. Being able to listen to the vets, and apply that to myself," Smith says.
"I learned how to sacrifice, learned how to be a better pro. I grew up and the NFL really helped me grow up to another level."
The Colts' defense would be in a pretty ideal situation if Smith's play on the field does rise to another level this season.
On the roster, the Colts currently have three defensive backs with ample playing time in their careers.
Vontae Davis, Patrick Robinson and Darius Butler are the lead guys at the cornerback position.
If Smith can show the ability to play a nickel and an outside cornerback role in 2016, he's going to be of great value to Ted Monachino's defense.
Now healthy, Smith could go from a player marred by injuries in 2015 to a key future piece of the Colts' defense this season.
"We put that one behind us," Chuck Pagano says of Smith's first season. "I think he's put it behind him.
"We're all looking forward to a productive and successful offseason and hopefully a healthy Training Camp. The guy has talent. We saw what we saw on tape. I personally came down (for a private workout during the draft process). He has playmaking ability. Now, hopefully, in Year 2 we see all those things we saw coming out of college."