Colts’ depth chart on defense following 2021 draft

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The Indianapolis Colts focused heavily on the defensive side of the ball when the 2021 NFL draft was all said and done, adding some intriguing rookies to the defensive front.

The additions of pass rushers Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo will have a major impact on the defensive line rotation even if the latter is still working his way back from a torn Achilles in January.

More moves will be made to the defense throughout the offseason, but the Colts have the foundation of the unit relatively set heading into OTAs and training camp.

Here’s a look at the depth chart of the defense following the 2021 draft:

Defensive Line

Pos.

First

Second

Third

Fourth

SDE

Kwity Paye

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Dayo Odeyingbo

Issac Rochell

DT (3t)

DeForest Buckner

Tyquan Lewis

Andrew Brown

Kameron Cline

DT (1t)

Grover Stewart

Taylor Stallworth

Robert Windsor

WDE

Kemoko Turay

Ben Banogu

Paye should be in consideration for the starting role at strong-side defensive end. He will have to compete with Muhammad and Lewis, who is likely to hold the flexible role in 2021. Odeyingbo will challenge Lewis the most upon his return and could be a full time starter in 2022 if the latter leaves in free agency. Turay and Banogu will have big seasons ahead of them. The interior is mostly set.

Linebacker

Pos.

First

Second

Third

WILL

Darius Leonard

E.J. Speed

Jordan Glasgow Isaiah Kaufusi

MIKE

Bobby Okereke

Skai Moore

Anthony Butler

SAM

Zaire Franklin

Matthew Adams

Malik Jefferson

In terms of personnel, this room is set and unlikely to change outside of the competitions taking place. Leonard and Okereke are entrenched as the starters. The Colts added a pair of linebackers as undrafted rookies but it will be hard for them to crack the roster. Jefferson, who recently signed a one-year deal, will be competing for a role on special teams and potentially a limited role as the SAM backer.

Cornerback

Pos.

First

Second

Third

CB

Xavier Rhodes

T.J. Carrie

Andre Chachere

Slot

Kenny Moore II

Isaiah Rodgers

Roderic Teamer

CB

Rock Ya-Sin

Marvell Tell

This room remains unchanged from before the draft with the exception of the release of Will Sunderland, who was on a futures contract. The biggest winner in this room is Ya-Sin, who will have a chance to earn a starting role on the boundary.

Safety

Pos.

First

Second

Third

Strong

Khari Willis

George Odum

Rolan Milligan Shawn Davis

Free

Julian Blackmon

Sean Davis

Ibraheim Campbell Nick Nelson

The Colts have their starters in Willis and Blackmon while adding Davis in the fifth round of the draft. The Florida product is likely a depth piece playing minimal snaps on defense while contributing on special teams to begin his career. It will be interesting to see if All-Pro special teamer in Odum will see more work in the rotation.

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