INDIANAPOLIS – Six guys for two spots.
That's the chaos at the inside linebacker positions for the 2017 Indianapolis Colts.
In years past, there was not much debate over at least one of the starting ILBs positions.
The days of D'Qwell Jackson and/or Jerrell Freeman locking down the middle of the defense in Indy is gone though.
Chuck Pagano is on the search for a new inside linebacker duo.
Here's a look at the six candidates, five of which have been in and out of the first-team lineup through the early part of OTAs:
- Jon Bostic:More than a month into this year's free agency, the Colts signed the 2013 second-round pick. Bostic has 18 career starts in his NFL career, but a foot injury kept him off the field for all of last season. The foot is healed as Bostic has seen early first-team action in the two open OTA sessions this spring.
- Edwin Jackson:From a pure experience of this defense standpoint, Jackson has the most playing time of the group. Jackson started eight games last season, receiving some valuable signal calling responsibilities late last season.
- Antonio Morrison:A fourth-round pick in 2016, Morrison started the final four games of his rookie season. Morrison is known for his run-stopping, and that aspect of his game could help him standout in a group of guys more viewed as sideline-to-sideline linebackers.
- Luke Rhodes:The least known of the bunch, Rhodes spent two months on the Colts practice squad last year before getting the call up to the 53-man roster in early December. Even though Rhodes, a 2016 undrafted free agent, has to be viewed as a long shot to be a starter, he's seen the occasional first-team rep this spring.
- Sean Spence:Like Bostic, Spence came to Indianapolis this free agency bringing some starting pedigree. Spence has 19 career starts while making stops in Pittsburgh and Tennessee. In the past, the 231-Spence has been thought of as a linebacker with the ability to play on passing downs.
- Anthony Walker:Unfortunately for the Colts, they had to wait to get Walker ingrained with the veterans this offseason. School obligations had Walker still at Northwestern, as they completed the quarter system of their academic calendar. Walker's now done with school and his first action in OTAs came on Thursday. His name can now be added to the ILB puzzle.
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