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4 Colts' Players that Could Shine in Training Camp

With Training Camp right around the corner for the Colts, who are some players that could shine in this pivotal offseason program?
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The 2022 NFL Season is right around the corner, as the Indianapolis Colts' Training Camp starts up on July 27th. While the offseason program is mostly used for conditioning and getting players back into the rhythm of the season, there are plenty of storylines to look forward to this year.

Today, I dive into five under-the-radar players that could shine in Training Camp for the Colts this offseason.

Dayo Odeyingbo | Defensive Lineman

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo (54) celebrates after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

With all of the excitement around second-year defensive end Kwity Paye, and the newly acquired Yannick Ngakoue, 2021 second round pick Dayo Odeyingbo is flying a bit under the radar at the moment. Honestly, it is easy to see why he would be an afterthought going into camp.

Odeyingbo came into the 2021 season with a major injury that he suffered in his pre-draft workouts back in January of that year. He missed a majority of his rookie offseason program, and he didn't see the NFL field until week eight against the Tennessee Titans.

After all of that missed time, it was no wonder that Odeyingbo had a fairly underwhelming rookie season overall. He finished the season with just one sack and one quarterback hit on 141 pass rushing snaps. Now, heading into year two, there is some reason for excitement with the young pass rusher.

Odeyingbo had this to say to Colts' reporters back in May about going into this offseason healthy:

I definitely feel a lot more comfortable just being healthy all through the offseason, having time to come in and prepare myself and then coming in (with) a new staff, new coach – kind of like a fresh start. It’s been real good. I’m feeling more comfortable this spring.

On top of that, Odeyingbo has been putting in some extra work on the practice field. He has spent time recently with Defensive Line Trainer Eddy McGilvra down in Texas. McGilvra is a fast up-and-comer in the business that has spent a ton of time with notable defensive linemen such as Kenny Clark, Quinnen Williams, and many many others.

While it is easy to cast aside a player like Odeyingbo coming into camp, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he ends up being one of the star players in the offseason practices.

Brandon Facyson | Cornerback

Jan 9, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Brandon Facyson (35) breaks up a pass intended for Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

With the many big-name transactions that the Colts have made this offseason, it is easy to overlook the signing of Brandon Facyson. Facyson, 27, was a veteran free agent that the Colts signed to a one-year deal on the first day of free agency.

Facyson has spent the entirety of his NFL career playing under new Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, so he certainly has a leg up on the other corners on the roster in terms of experience. That isn't the only reason why I think he has a strong camp this year, though.

Facyson had a surprisingly strong season this past year for the Las Vegas Raiders. He finished the year with 621 snaps on defense, by far the most in his career, and had 10 pass breakups to go along with one interception. He has some flaws in his game, but he is a smooth mover for a fairly lengthy outside cornerback.

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With the Colts' receiving corps not being the most experienced, or the deepest group, Facyson could set himself up well for more playing time if he dominates this group in camp. The second outside cornerback spot will likely come down to either him or Isaiah Rodgers, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see both players shine in camp.

Kylen Granson | Tight End

Indianapolis Colts tight end Kylen Granson (83) tries to fight off New York Jets safety Ashtyn Davis (21) as he advances the ball 27 yards Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, during a game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Another 2021 draft pick makes this list with this next spot. Kylen Granson was somewhat lost in the shuffle as a rookie, but the retirement of Jack Doyle could open up some playing time for the young tight end.

Granson unfortunately fell victim to the typical NFL trend of first year tight ends not producing in the league. He saw a decent chunk of snaps (227) but finished the season with just 11 catches for 106 yards. With Doyle's 642 vacated snaps, and his only competition being two rookies, Granson should be in line for a major snap increase in year two.

On top of the stars aligning in terms of depth for Granson to see more time in camp, the decision makers and players in Indy have also been raving about him of late. Quarterback Matt Ryan singled out Granson in a recent interview with Indy media:

You look at the depth we have at the wide receiver position, a lot of young, talented players. Guys that are unselfish. Same thing from the tight end room. We have two young guys that we drafted, Mo Alie-Cox is kind of the veteran in that room now. He’s done a great job of leading that group. Kylen’s (Granson) been awesome. So, that fires me up.

General Manager Chris Ballard also singled out the second year player in his post-draft presser:

..Then watching (Kylen) Granson as a rookie come in and have a minor contribution, but we see good things in Granson as an athlete and as a route runner and think that he’s got a chance to be a really good F tight end...

Everything seems to be shaping up for Granson to have a strong year in Indy. The last step to playing time is seeing him light up Training Camp in a few weeks.

Curtis Brooks | Defensive Tackle

Cincinnati Bearcats defensive lineman Curtis Brooks (92) celebrates a sack in the fourth quarter during the American Athletic Conference championship football game against the Houston Cougars, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bearcats won, 35-20. Houston Cougars At Cincinnati Bearcats Aac Championship Dec 4

I am officially staking my claim on this hype train heading into the 2022 season. The Colts have a wide open battle behind the two starting defensive tackles heading into camp, and rookie Curtis Brooks is more than capable of having a monstrous camp to solidify his spot.

Brooks, 24, is an older prospect that was a late bloomer in college. While that may concern some, he was simply outstanding a year ago with the Cincinnati Bearcats. He finished his final collegiate season with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, and one of the highest pass rush win rates in the entire country.

I have no clue how many snaps this young pass rusher will see in year one, but his insane blend of technique and quickness should make him a star in Training Camp. I simply cannot see how third string offensive linemen are going to be able to handle this athletic defensive tackle in the month of August.

Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.

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