3 Under the Radar Colts with Potential Value in 2024

Depth is key for any roster, and these three Indianapolis Colts could back the argument in 2024.
Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trey Sermon (27) runs the ball while Las Vegas Raiders safety Marcus Epps (1) and safety Tre'von Moehrig (25) defend  in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trey Sermon (27) runs the ball while Las Vegas Raiders safety Marcus Epps (1) and safety Tre'von Moehrig (25) defend in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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With any NFL franchise, it's more entertaining to discuss the superstars, starters, or big-potential players. However, without value and depth on a roster, it's far more trivial for the starters to hit their stride and build the momentum that made them a top-tier name. For the Indianapolis Colts, heading into the 2024 season is no different.

Notable mainstays like defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, running back Jonathan Taylor, and Michael Pittman Jr. are a few parts that make up the highest talents for Indy. But the Colts also have players on their depth chart that are being overlooked or fly under the radar. With this in mind, it's time to dive into three players for Indianapolis who aren't the topic of much conversation but could prove valuable in 2024.

Anthony Gould | Wide Receiver-Returner

Colts receiver Anthony Gould takes a break during a college football game (black helmet with orange beaver logo)
Oregon State Beavers wide receiver Anthony Gould (2) looks up toward the scoreboard during the second half of the game against the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. / Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal / USA

The Colts have lacked consistent playmaking abilities at kick/punt returner for years—the last notable for Indy was running back Nyheim Hines, who has returned 89 punts and 32 kicks through his career. He's also scored four total return touchdowns (two each). While cornerback Dallis Flowers deserves recognition for a fantastic 2022 season as Indy's return man, he's now linked with the cornerback room and likely won't return anymore.

Enter 2024 fifth-round selection (142nd overall) Anthony Gould. The former Oregon State receiver was dynamic whenever he had the ball in his hands. Throughout his college career, Gould caught 84 passes for 1,360 receiving yards (16.2 per catch) and six scores. He also tossed in 11 rushing attempts for another 83 rushing yards (7.5 per carry) and a touchdown on the ground.

But Gould was selected to return kicks and punts for the Colts. Gould shined in this role for Oregon State, returning 26 punts for 423 yards (16.3 per return), and two scores. While he only logged one kick return for 22 yards, it won't be a difficult transition to be both for Gould. Along with a similar build to Hines (Gould is 5'8" and 174 pounds), he is a lightning bolt in space and can be problematic to tackle.

Gould is perfect for the Colts next return role and still has prowess as a utility-style pass-catcher in Shane Steichen's offense for creative play capability. Along with the new rules allowing for potentially more explosive moments from kick-offs, Gould could give Indianapolis a weapon at the returner position and provide big-play potential when given a chance.

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Raekwon Davis | Defensive Tackle

Colts defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (teal jersey with orange trim/white numbers) pauses for a moment on the football field.
Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins nose tackle Raekwon Davis (98) reacts during the game against the New England Patriots in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts boast one of the best defensive tackle tandems the league has to offer with Buckner and Grover Stewart. Buckner had another fantastic season by compiling 81 tackles, 8.0 sacks, and 11 tackles for loss, landing him his third career Pro Bowl nomination. His counterpart, Stewart, was limited to only 11 contests due to a suspension. This suspension, and what happened in those six games at defensive tackle, is why Raekwon Davis is such a valuable signing.

Last season, backups Taven Bryan and Eric Johnson II saw increased snaps due to Stewart missing nearly 1/3 of the NFL season. What ensued was a pure disaster in run defense. Below are the run defense metrics from Pro Football Focus for Bryan and Johnson, along with interior snap counts. These measurements are in consideration of a 20% snap count minimum.

  • Taven Bryan
  • 275 snaps (A or B Gap)
  • Run defense: 43.7 (7th out of 8)
  • Eric Johnson
  • 255 snaps (A or B Gap)
  • Run defense: 29.3 (Last out of 8)

This is where the newly signed Davis comes in. During the 2024 off-season, Davis inked a two-year, $14 million contract (Over The Cap). This gives Buckner and Stewart the stable depth to complement them more than a season. The former Miami Dolphins rotational piece complemented star defender and now Las Vegas Raiders stalwart Christian Wilkins. Davis wasn't otherworldly with his statistics, but with a defensive front as talented as Indy's, he doesn't need to be to provide an impact.

Last year with 494 interior snaps (B Gap - 321 snaps), Davis was stable in run defense with a grade of 54.1. He also brings pass-rushing ability, as was on display through his 23 quarterback pressures. Davis is exactly what Indianapolis desperately needed behind Buckner and Stewart, a reliable veteran who can get the job done when it's required. It will be interesting to see if Johnson and Bryan can respond with vast improvement to the acquisition of Davis.

Trey Sermon - Running Back

Colts running back Trey Sermon (blue jersey; white trim/helmet) gets away from a defender (white jersey/black numbers).
Dec 16, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trey Sermon (27) runs the ball while Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) defends in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, as with multiple key players, Colts running back Taylor was limited to just 10 games (seven starts) due to lingering ankle and thumb-related injuries. Due to Taylor's absence, second-year Colts back Zack Moss got a massive opportunity to take most of the carries from the backfield. What he did was end 2023 as the team's leading rusher (794 yards) while adding 27 catches for 192 receiving yards and seven all-purpose touchdowns (five rushing, two receiving).

Moss capitalized, finding a career-best season with Indy and grabbing a two-year, $8 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals because of it. But, this leaves Indianapolis without a clear option behind Taylor. While second-year back Evan Hull looks promising, nobody knows about what he can do since his 2023 was cut short to a single game due to a torn meniscus. As for Tyler Goodson, he showed bursts of capable explosiveness, but not consistently enough to lean on him as the go-to relief of Taylor.

However, Trey Sermon is another story. Sermon started his career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers (2021) after being a third-round draft selection. However, Sermon's performance fell to pieces, limiting his rookie year to 41 carries for 167 rushing yards and a single touchdown. Sermon quickly found himself on the Philadelphia Eagles, where he hardly played in 2022.

However, Steichen saw something in Sermon. This was made apparent when the Colts signed him in 2023 to a one-year, $940k deal after a stint with the practice squad, following Steichen from Philly to Indy. Sermon showed sparks of production, joining Goodson in carrying Indy's ground attack in a week 15 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sermon had likely his best career performance with 17 carries for 88 rushing yards (5.1 yards per carry).

Not only is Sermon an intriguing backup for Taylor, but he can also pass-block. This is a grossly overlooked quality for running backs, and Sermon was one of the Colts backs at it. Per Pro Football Focus, Sermon notched a pass-blocking mark of 69.4 on 17 snaps. If Sermon can build off a season like 2023, he'll be in the discussion of RB2 for Indianapolis. He has pass-blocking abilities and underrated downhill running. We'll see what happens for a spot on the Colts roster that is competitive enough with Taylor leading the charge.

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Drake Wally


Drake Wally covers the Indianapolis Colts at Horseshoe Huddle and co-hosts the Horseshoe Huddle Podcast.