Colts 2022 Training Camp Preview: Defensive Line

The Colts will arrive in Westfield with an impressive collection of established veterans and young talent on Nate Ollie's defensive line. Check out what to watch for from DeForest Buckner, Yannick Ngakoue, Kwity Paye and the Colts' D-line ahead of the start of training camp on July 27. 

Who's In

  • Yannick Ngakoue (acquired in trade with Las Vegas Raiders)
  • Bryan Cox Jr. (signed as free agent)
  • R.J. McIntosh (signed as free agent)
  • Ifeadi Odenigbo (signed as free agent)
  • Eric Johnson (selected in fifth round of NFL Draft)
  • Curtis Brooks (selected in sixth round of NFL Draft)
  • Scott Patchan (signed as undrafted free agent)
  • Caeveon Patton (signed as undrafted free agent)

The Colts made a major addition to their pass rush in trading cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for Ngakoue, who's been one of the most consistently productive edge rushers in the NFL over the last half-decade. Picking Johnson and Brooks added depth to the interior of the defensive line, while the 28-year-old Odenigbo adds veteran depth on the edge as well.

Also notable here is the new defensive coaching staff in place, with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Nate Ollie bringing an attack-oriented approach to the Colts' defensive line.

Who's Out

  • Al-Quadin Muhammad (signed with Chicago Bears)
  • Isaac Rochell (signed with Cleveland Browns)
  • Taylor Stallworth (signed with Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Kemoko Turay (signed with San Francisco 49ers)

Muhammad played the most snaps (801) and had the most sacks (six) of any Colts defensive end in 2021, and will re-unite with former defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus in Chicago. Stallworth (332 snaps), Turay (224 snaps) and Rochell (177 snaps) were all depth pieces last year and combined for 8 1/2 sacks.

Who's Back

  • Ben Banogu (fourth season)
  • DeForest Buckner (seventh season)
  • Kameron Cline (third season)
  • Tyquan Lewis (fifth season)
  • Dayo Odeyingbo (second season)
  • Kwity Paye (second season)
  • Grover Stewart (sixth season)
  • Chris Williams (third season)

Buckner led the Colts last year in sacks (seven), quarterback hits (18) and tackles for a loss (10) all while being double-teamed at one of the highest rates in the NFL. Paye earned PFWA and Pro Football Focus All-Rookie honors while posting the highest PFF pass rushing grade (71.3) among first-year edge rushers. Odeyingbo worked his way back from an Achilles' injury suffered before the 2021 Senior Bowl to appear in 10 games, with his game-sealing forced fumble against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10 a highlight. Stewart remained a stalwart against the run, helping the Colts finish third in rush defense DVOA last season. Lewis signed a contract extension in March after a promising first half of the season was cruelly cut short by a season-ending knee injury he suffered while returning his first career interception in Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans.

What To Watch For

One of the best parts of going to training camp is getting to watch the one-on-one pass rush drills between defensive linemen and offensive linemen. Getting to see Ngakoue work on his signature craft – the cross-chop – should be a treat, and how guys like Paye and Odeyingbo progress through those drills will be important to watch ahead of the regular season.

Training Camp Information

The Colts will return to Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield for training camp in 2022. Click here for a full schedule of practices open to fans. Free tickets will be required to attend, which can be obtained here. For more information on Colts 2022 Training Camp Presented By Koorsen Fire & Security, click here.

Statistically Speaking

Since his NFL debut in 2016, Yannick Ngakoue is one of two players to have at least eight sacks in each of the last six seasons (the other is Rams all-word defensive tackle Aaron Donald).

Ngakoue is also 10th since 2016 with 119 quarterback hits, one more than the guy in 11th – new teammate DeForest Buckner.

Links To The Past

Catch up on stories from earlier this year about the D-line on Colts.com:

They Said It

"Playing in the scheme, the D-line is really the engine of the defense. We're attacking up front. Pretty much we're blowing things up (and) everybody is cleaning things up behind us. It's going to be a lot of fun. Nate (Ollie) keeps preaching to us we're blowing stuff up and the guys behind us are cleaning stuff up. It's controlled chaos as he says." - DT DeForest Buckner on the Colts' attacking mindset

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