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Indianapolis Colts

Colts position reset: Safeties

Julian Blackmon's move to strong safety was an intriguing development to come out of the Colts' offseason program. 

On the roster

  • No. 20 Nick Cross (second season with Colts)
  • No. 25 Rodney Thomas II (second season with Colts)
  • No. 32 Julian Blackmon (fourth season with Colts)
  • No. 36 Henry Black (second season with Colts, fourth season in NFL)
  • No. 42 Marcel Dabo (second season with Colts)
  • No. 43 Trevor Denbow (second season with Colts)
  • No. 48 Aaron Maddox (rookie)
  • Michael Tutsie (rookie)

Where things stand

Julian Blackmon shifted to strong safety this spring, with 2022 seventh-round pick Rodney Thomas II the frontrunner to be the Colts' starting free safety in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's scheme. 2022 third-round pick Nick Cross will compete at safety, too, after starting the first two games of his rookie year but playing sparingly on defense after. Rookie Daniel Scott, a fifth-round draft pick, was placed on injured reserve in June, meaning he'll be out for the 2023 season.

Training camp sneak peek

Blackmon is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and a solid season at strong safety would likely make his versatility (he's played free safety and nickel corner in the past, too) a selling point either to the Colts through a contract extension or another team if he were to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024. How he continues to assimilate into his new role – which will involve heavy communication in Bradley's defense – will be important to watch not only for the Colts' defense, but for Blackmon's future.

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