Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Jackson

Examining the Indianapolis Colts' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)
This is the safest position on the roster for the Colts. They plan to always keep a veteran backup if Luck ever goes down with an injury.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

The Colts will have a solid running combination if -- and we’re saying if until proven wrong -- Richardson can bounce back from a poor first season in Indianapolis and Bradshaw and Ballard can stay injury-free. Havili, a fullback, gets the edge over Mario Harvey, who switched from linebacker to fullback during offseason workouts.

RECEIVERS (5)

The final receiver spot will come down to Rogers and Griff Whalen. If the Colts want to play it safe, Whalen is the guy because he’s familiar with Luck and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but Rogers has the size and speed the team likes. There’s also the possibility of the Colts keeping six receivers.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

Allen, who missed all but one game in 2013, and Fleener have the potential to be one of the top tight end duos in the league. Doyle and Saunders are both familiar with the system after backing up Fleener in Allen’s absence last season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

There are plenty of questions surrounding the offensive line outside of tackles Castonzo and Cherilus. The one thing general manager Ryan Grigson wanted with this group is depth. The Colts have plenty of it.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (6)

Like the offensive line, the Colts want depth on the defensive line so they can constantly rotate in players, so come the fourth quarter they still have fresh legs to get after the opponent. Jones was the key offseason acquisition for the Colts. Chapman showed flashes last season; now he needs to do it every snap that he’s on the field.

LINEBACKERS (10)

All eyes will be on outside linebacker as the Colts look to find a replacement for Mathis, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. Werner gets the first crack at starting in Mathis’ spot. McNary is a player for whom Grigson has high expectations. It’ll be up to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on how he uses McNary.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (10)

It’s anybody’s guess how the secondary will perform. It’s anybody’s guess who will start alongside Landry at safety. It looked like it would be Howell for most of the offseason, but the Colts signed the veteran Adams in June. Can Toler finally remain healthy? Can Davis live up to his contract? So many questions with no answers at the moment.

SPECIALIST

This only changes if an injury occurs.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Not that there was really any suspense behind it, but the Indianapolis Colts have signed all five of their draft picks.

The Colts officially took care of their business when they reached a deal their last unsigned draft pick, third-round receiver Donte Moncrief, on Friday.

The Colts signed offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, defensive end Jonathan Newsome, linebacker Andrew Jackson and offensive tackle Ulrick John earlier this month.

Moncrief started 37 games at Ole Miss and finished third in school history in receptions (156), receiving yards (2,371) and receiving touchdowns (20).

He missed time during the team's organized team activities (OTAs) this week to attend the NFLPA's Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles.

Moncrief will compete with Da'Rick Rogers, Griff Whalen and LaVon Brazill to be the fourth receiver behind Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton next season.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two days, two signings of draft picks by the Indianapolis Colts.

A day after signing outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome, the team's fifth-round choice, the Colts signed offensive tackle Ulrick John, the team’s final pick in the seventh round.

The Colts only have three more draft picks -- second-rounder Jack Mewhort, third-rounder Donte Moncrief and sixth-rounder Andrew Jackson -- to sign.

Newsome, who started his collegiate career at Ohio State, had 16.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in two seasons at Ball State.

John started 25 of the 36 games he appeared in at Georgia State.
INDIANAPOLIS – There’s always somebody in class who has to end up with the lowest grade. You know the student everybody snickers at because he didn’t get as good of a grade as the rest of his classmates.

For the Indianapolis Colts that’s them when it comes to grading their 2014 draft class. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. dished out his grades for the draftInsider and the Colts are the bottom of the list. Kiper gave the Colts a league-worst D-plus.

The Colts entered the draft with needs at safety, guard, linebacker and receiver. They addressed receiver in the third round by selecting Mississippi’s Donte Moncrief. The Colts drafted linebacker Andrew Jackson from Western Kentucky in the sixth round and Ohio State’s Jack Mewhort, a second-round pick, played tackle with the Buckeyes but will likely slide to guard in the NFL.

The Colts, who were without a first-round pick, did not touch their most glaring need – safety – in the draft.

"There’s a small handful of guys in this draft that we felt like we could go get, it just didn’t happen," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said. "But it was not a deep safety class and if there was a safety we liked, we would have took one."
» NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South


INDIANAPOLIS -- A wrap-up of the Indianapolis Colts' draft. Click here for a full list of the Colts' draftees.

[+] EnlargeDonte Moncrief
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesThe Colts are banking on Donte Moncrief to evolve into a standout wide receiver for seasons to come.
Best move: The Colts started to prepare for life after receiver Reggie Wayne when they selected Donte Moncrief out of Mississippi in the third round. He's an all-around receiver who isn't afraid to throw a block if necessary. Moncrief left school early and is still a raw player, but he's not expected to come right in and contribute. It's all about the future with him. The Colts are set at the top three receiver spots with Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Nicks. But Wayne and Nicks will be free agents in 2015. Wayne is closer to retirement than playing another five or six years. There are not many receivers better in the league whom Moncrief can learn from than Wayne.

Riskiest move: The Colts went into the draft with question marks at safety. They left the draft with the same question marks. The Colts are looking for a starter to play alongside LaRon Landry after Antoine Bethea signed with San Francisco in March. It hurt the Colts that they did not have a first-round pick, because Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward was selected by the 49ers at the end of the opening round. Mel Kiper Jr. said Ward was the best cover safety in the draft. Now the Colts are left with Delano Howell, Sergio Brown, Corey Lynch and Colt Anderson as in-house candidates to start at safety -- unless they sign a free agent at that position.

Most surprising move: Linebacker Andrew Jackson in the sixth round. Jackson played at Western Kentucky, where he didn't even make first-team All-Sun Belt Conference. Jackson made the second team after recording 95 tackles last season. The Colts had more pressing needs -- safety -- than adding another linebacker to the roster. The Seattle Seahawks selected free safety Eric Pinkins five picks after the Colts in the sixth round. Who knows if Pinkins will pan out, but the Colts could have selected him to see if he has what it takes to play safety in the league. Now the Colts could end up going with guys currently on their roster to compete for the starting job.

File it away: Selecting Moncrief means the race for one of the final receiver spots will be competitive between Griff Whalen, Da'Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill. The Colts could end up releasing at least two of them depending on how many receivers they want to keep on the roster next season. The Colts selected Brazill in the sixth round in 2012. Whalen has bounced around on and off the practice squad. Rogers likely has the inside track on making the roster over Brazill and Whalen. The Colts have high hopes for him because of his speed and size at receiver. His biggest issue is avoiding trouble off the field.

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