Playing Time Outlook For 2016 Colts Draft Picks?

Intro: How might the playing time shake out for the Colts eight draft picks in their rookie seasons?


INDIANAPOLIS – Ryan Kelly is a Week One starter for the Colts.

That we know about the Colts top draft pick from 2016.

But what about the team's other seven draftees from earlier this offseason?

Here's a look at how the 2016 rookies fared the Colts offseason program:

  • Safety T.J. Green:We know T.J. Green will make an impact on special teams as a rookie, but will there be a role for him defensively? That remains to be seen. Last year at this time, Clayton Geathers was running in the sub packages for the Colts. We haven't seen that from Green yet. Remember, the safety position is still pretty new to Green. This is a guy who only played safety for two years in college (only one year as a starter). Mike Adams and Clayton Geathers are your 2016 starters at safety.
  • Tackle Le'Raven Clark:This Texas Tech product was a reserve tackle during the offseason program. The Colts knew there would be a developmental period for Clark, as he transitions from a spread offense at Tech. Clark is now lining up in a three-point stance in the NFL, something he hardly did in college. With Joe Reitz starting at right tackle this offseason, Clark's initial NFL season might be more in a reserve role.
  • Defensive Tackle Hassan Ridgeway:The versatile defensive lineman could really see his playing time fluctuate in 2016. Injury questions to Henry Anderson and Arthur Jones are going to be major factors in how much Ridgeway could play as a rookie. If those two do have to miss any time, Ridgeway is a candidate to be the first defensive line sub in '16. No matter what happens with Anderson and Jones, Ridgeway should see some reps up front given the constant substitution we see in the defensive front.
  • Inside Linebacker Antonio Morrison:A hamstring injury to Morrison kept him off the field for the team's entire offseason program. Morrison suffered the injury on the first day of rookie minicamp. Without Morrison on the field, Nate Irving and Sio Moore have been the guys lining up next to D'Qwell Jackson. Irving and Moore are the favorites for the open starting competition, vacated by Jerrell Freeman. Morrison remains a guy to watch when camp rolls around.
  • Tackle/Guard Joe Haeg:The position battle at right guard has included Haeg's name this offseason. With Hugh Thornton not participating the last eight weeks, Haeg has seen first-team reps at guard. Haeg was a four-year starter at tackle in college, however the Colts clearly feel he has the ability to be a guard. With Denzelle Good now healthy and Thornton expected back for the start of Training Camp, we will see how that impacts the reps for Haeg.
  • Outside Linebacker Trevor Bates:The seventh-round pick was an option used in sub packages during the offseason program. An advantage Bates should have in camp is some potential first-team action due to what is in front of him. The Colts have three edge guys all north of 30 years old---Robert Mathis, Erik Walden and Trent Cole. Veteran days off are common during the grind of Training Camp. That could open up some precious opportunities for Bates to make a name for himself.
  • Center Austin Blythe:Like Haeg, the ability to show position flexibility at Training Camp will be key for Blythe. The backup center in 2016 is going to have to be able to play guard. Blythe did it for one year at Iowa before moving over to center for three seasons. Guard reps for Blythe and Jonotthan Harrison could decide who is Ryan Kelly's backup in 2016.

*It should be noted that this time last year, fifth-round pick David Parry wasn't receiving first-team reps.

By the end of the preseason, Parry was a starter and ran out with the starting defense for all 16 games last year.

Training Camp will really separate things, especially in the trenches.


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