Colts' top newcomers in 2014

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
1:15
PM ET
The Indianapolis Colts, as they said in February, didn’t make any splash moves during free agency, the draft or with a trade. General manager Ryan Grigson kept it simple -- he hopes, at least -- by attempting to plug some holes on the roster.

Let’s take a look at the top five newcomers on the roster for the Colts.

Holmes
1. Center Khaled Holmes. I know, I know, Holmes isn’t technically a newcomer because he was on the roster last season. But Holmes played only 12 snaps and now he’s the Colts’ starting center. The goal is for Holmes to bring stability -- something last season’s starter, Samson Satele, couldn’t do at the center position. Do that and the issues at both guard spots will have a better chance of falling into place. How Holmes handles the challenge of being the team’s starting center is what people are looking forward to seeing the most.

2. Defensive lineman Art Jones. Jones gives the Colts flexibility because he can play defensive tackle and end. His presence at tackle will help the Colts when it comes to stopping the run because they were brutal in that area last season, finishing 26th in the league in run defense. The goal is for the Colts to be able to rotate players in and out along the line throughout the game so that they still have fresh legs come the fourth quarter.

3. Receiver Hakeem Nicks. The addition of Nicks not only will be a plus for quarterback Andrew Luck, but his presence on the field will have a significant impact for T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne and the team’s tight ends. Hilton and Nicks can stretch the field on the outside, which in turn will open up the middle of the field for Wayne and the tight ends. What also can’t be discounted is that Nicks’ presence helps ease things for Wayne, who is coming off a torn ACL. Wayne doesn’t have to feel like he needs to dominate a game because he has Nicks, Hilton and the tight end to help him out.

4. Offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. The Colts second-round pick is in a transition period. He started at tackle during his final season at Ohio State, but his best bet to play this season will be at guard because the Colts are set at tackle with Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus. The transition hasn’t been too tough on Mewhort because he moved ahead of Lance Louis on the depth chart to the first team during offseason workouts. The competition for the starting position will get tougher once Donald Thomas, the Colts’ Week 1 starter there last season, gets on the practice field. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Mewhort is starting against the Broncos.

5. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson is a veteran who has plenty of starting experience, having started 96 of the 97 games he has played in during his career. He has had at least 101 tackles seven times in his career. The Colts will need Jackson’s experience throughout the season, and that definitely holds true during the first four games of the season when fellow linebacker Robert Mathis is serving his four-game suspension. You have to wonder how much the 30-year-old Jackson has left in the tank.

6. Safety Mike Adams. Adams was a late addition to the roster. So late that the Colts were just days away from the start of their three-day mandatory minicamp when they signed Adams. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adams is starting at safety against his former team -- Denver -- in Week 1 of the regular season. Adams has experience (73 starts), but, like Jackson, you have to wonder how much he has left in his 33-year-old body. The Colts must think he has something left in his legs in order for them to sign him.

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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