After the news of the Colts' trading of A.Q. Shipley to the Ravens on Thursday morning, more news slipped through later that day. It seems that with the loss of Shipley, a spot opened up on the roster, which the Colts filled with a new center:
With the signing, the Colts now have 11 undrafted free agents on their roster, and have invited 13 others to tryout at minicamp.
With the Colts still lacking depth at several positions, you have to assume that these UDFAs have a real chance at making the final 53-man roster. The road will not be easy for these players, but they now have an in.
So which of these players have the best chance of making the final roster? Let's narrow it down as best as we can.
The Colts have several positions that could use depth, and there are also many areas that have more than enough to deal with.
Interior line (both offensive and defensive) is one place where I don't see any UDFAs making the squad. The Colts have a lot of competition on both sides of the line currently with 10 interior offensive linemen and 12 defensive linemen on the roster. The Colts also have decent depth at outside linebacker, where Robert Mathis, Erik Walden, Bjoern Werner, Lawrence Sidbury, Justin Hickman, and Mario Harvey all look to compete for roster spots.
So, I'll be looking away from those positions, and instead focusing on the UDFAs that actually were signed rather than the tryout invitees.
With that being said, who does have a chance at making the roster?
OT Emmett Cleary, Boston College
While the Colts have a lot of depth at interior line, the offensive tackles have a thin group. With Winston Justice visiting other teams, the Colts have nobody behind Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus. Jeff Linkenbach and Bradley Sowell can play tackle in a pinch, but both played poorly in spot duty last season.
Cleary was Castonzo's roommate in college, but doesn't have Castonzo's foot quickness or overall athleticism. But Cleary does have the size and length necessary to protect against edge rushers at 6'7", with 34 1/4" arms. He likely will never have the physical tools necessary to be a long-term starter, but Cleary could give the Colts some depth at the position.
CB Scheldon Price, UCLA
Continuing with the theme, Price has all the physical tools to be a solid corner in this league. At 6'2", with long arms, Price uses his height and length well in press coverage, using it to stay with his receiver and distract the WR without committing fouls.
Price also showed solid foot quickness and has good long speed as a former track star. Unfortunately, Price is a little skinny, weighing just 180 pounds. He needs to show that he can stay physical with NFL-level receivers, but if he can, he could be a playmaker from the nickel/dime corner spot. He has very good ball skills, using his long arms to to extend from his body and reach the ball.
CB Nigel Malone, Kansas State
The other two corners that have a shot at making the roster are Nigel Malone and Daxton Swanson. Both corners are small in stature, standing at about 5'10" and 185 pounds. Both can struggle with giving up size to wide receivers, and in the film I watched of the two, both can allow big possession receivers to get the advantage over them.
I like Malone a little better in my brief study of the two. Malone is a little quicker and has a slightly faster break on the ball. He's not afraid to mix it up physically with bigger wide receivers, even if he has a disadvantage. I would like to see a better job from him in regards to shedding blocks in the run game, but he could be a special teamer and potentially provide depth at corner.
WR Rodrick Rumble, Idaho State
The two receivers that have been signed are Rumble and Baylor wide receiver Lanear Sampson. Sampson played against competition at Baylor, but Rumble was the No. 1 guy at Idaho State, something Sapmson never managed.
Both have some thickness to them that is ideal, but Rumble's extra two inches makes him a perfect red-zone and downfield target.