Updating Colts' Roster, Team Needs Following the 2024 NFL Draft

The Indianapolis Colts added nine new players through the 2024 NFL Draft. What does the roster look like now, and what are their biggest needs?
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard  talks to the
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard talks to the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Indianapolis Colts added nine new faces through the 2024 NFL Draft last week, rounding out a roster with depth and talent that was still looking for some.

General manager Chris Ballard led the charge of ensuring that second-year quarterback Anthony Richardson had protection and playmakers, as offensive linemen and offensive skill position players accounted for four of their first five picks.

Today, we take a fresh look at the Colts' roster following the addition of these nine players and examine the urgency level at each position.

Projected starters in bold. Rookie draft picks italicized.


Anthony Richardson, Joe Flacco, Sam Ehlinger

Urgency: Low

All set here. The Colts are all in on Richardson as their quarterback and will get to evaluate and plan around him in earnest this year as long as he stays healthy. Flacco—the reigning NFL Comeback Player of the Year—is a strong backup option and will have a full offseason to become engrained with the team and coaching staff.


Jonathan Taylor, Trey Sermon, Tyler Goodson, Evan Hull, Zavier Scott

Urgency: Medium

Taylor is the unquestioned workhorse star of this group. However, the depth is a question mark. Sermon and Goodson did have some good moments last season and were even dominant in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and there's plenty of reason to be optimistic about Hull, whose rookie season didn't even last a full game due to a meniscus (knee) injury. However, the Colts did try to add to the position this offseason but were unsuccessful, leading to the belief that they may still add another capable player. If not, Ballard seems to like the players they do have.

"We like what we’ve got," Ballard told reporters after the draft when asked about the running back position. "We’ve got some young guys that came in – Trey did a really good job when he came in and played for us last year. So, we’ve got some guys on the roster we like. We get Hull back. Yeah, Hull is healthy. We get him back and get to see what he can do. He showed some really good signs last year.”


Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Adonai Mitchell, Ashton Dulin, D.J. Montgomery, Antony Gould, Ethan Fernea, Juwann Winfree, Terrell Bynum, Tyrie Cleveland

Urgency: Low

The Colts made a seemingly perfect move to complement their receiver corps with Mitchell, a playmaking field-stretcher who needs to put his traits altogether to reach his potential. Pittman and Downs will assuredly start, and Pierce likely will as well until Mitchell is prepared to take a starting spot. The Colts don't need to rush it with Mitchell but he has immense potential and will eventually become a big part of the offense if he begins developing like the Colts expect. Dulin and the rookie Gould are also interesting, athletic depth pieces although both will likely be bigger contributors on special teams.


Jelani Woods, Kylen Granson, Mo Alie-Cox, Will Mallory, Drew Ogletree, Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Murray

Urgency: Low

This is a big X-factor group. Woods will have a spotlight on him going into his third year after showing star flashes as a rookie but then being forced to sit out all of 2023 with hamstring injuries. Mallory and Ogletree are great athletes who will be expected to take another step forward, while Alie-Cox and Granson are solid in their roles and the most consistent in the room. At a minimum, this is a passable group without any concerns, and at best, they have some truly dangerous weapons at their disposal.


OT: Bernhard Raimann, Braden Smith, Blake Freeland, Matt Goncalves, Jake Witt

IOL: Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Will Fries, Tanor Bortolini, Wesley French, Josh Sills, Danny Pinter, Arlington Hambright, Jack Anderson, Lewis Kidd

Urgency: Low

This was already a group that had played impressive football for the last season and a half despite injuries dictating the amount of time they actually got to play together. After returning the entire group, top to bottom, the Colts added a couple of draft picks that they absolutely love in Goncalves and Bortolini. I don't expect either to earn a starting spot initially (right guard seems to be the only spot where it'd be possible), but coaches may be comfortable with either if circumstances arise that necessitate a new body in the starting five. Next offseason, essentially all of the interior players except for Nelson are slated for free agency, so that may be when we see Goncalves and/or Bortolini crack the starting lineup.

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DE: Kwity Paye, Samson Ebukam, Laiatu Latu, Dayo Odeyingbo, Tyquan Lewis, Isaiah Land, Genard Avery, Titus Leo

IDL: DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, Raekwon Davis, Taven Bryan, Adetomiwa Adebawore, Eric Johnson II, Jonah Laulu

Urgency: Low

This is going to be an incredibly difficult unit for players to make the roster. The Colts feel they got a steal in Latu as the top pass-rusher in the draft all the way at the 15th pick, and they took a developmental, high-upside player with their final pick in Laulu. In between that, you've got some entrenched veterans like Buckner, Stewart, Paye, Ebukam, Odeyingbo, and Lewis while there's going to be a battle royale for the final spots behind them. There will be interesting players that don't make this roster.


Zaire Franklin, E.J. Speed, Segun Olubi, Ronnie Harrison Jr., Grant Stuard, Cameron McGrone, Liam Anderson, Jaylon Carlies, Austin Ajiake

Urgency: Low

This one teeters on the edge of being a medium urgency because the Colts only added one player but still have six linebackers due to hit free agency next March. They could've added more players, but unless they were early-round picks, there just simply wouldn't have been enough room on the roster. This is a position that'll get figured out, either by Speed getting a contract extension, or one or more young players taking a big step in their development.


Kenny Moore II, JuJu Brents, Jaylon Jones, Dallis Flowers, Darrell Baker Jr., Ameer Speed, Chris Lammons, Jaylin Simpson, Micah Abraham

Urgency: Medium

I'll acknowledge the Colts did add two interesting names to the list through the draft in Simpson and Abraham, but they were Day 3 picks who don't appear to be in the mix to start in 2024. I have the urgency as "medium," but I don't think the Colts see it that way. They do truly like the players they have, and it's a product of them intentionally going young at the position last year. I'm more cautiously optimistic than I am concerned, relying on further development from Brents, Jones, and Flowers. We'll just have to wait and see on this one.


Julian Blackmon, Nick Cross, Rodney Thomas II, Daniel Scott, Trevor Denbow, Marcel Dabo, Kendell Brooks, Michael Tutsie

Urgency: High

It would be quite surprising if the Colts entered the season with this safety group looking exactly like it does now. Last year, after Blackmon went down with a shoulder injury for the final couple of games, the Colts tweaked with the safety lineup, ultimately landing on Cross at free safety and linebacker Harrison at strong safety. Thomas, a two-year starter, had been benched. Blackmon is one of the starters, but whether that's at free or strong safety will likely be determined by who the other starter is. Do they trsut Cross enough to give it a go? Will an X-factor like Scott, or perhaps the rookie corner Simpson contribute?


K: Matt Gay

P: Rigoberto Sanchez

LS: Luke Rhodes

Urgency: Low

This is a set it and forget it group. When we get into training camp, we'll add return specialists to this category. Initially, Downs, Gould, and Flowers will likely be the rimary return group.

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Jake Arthur


Jake Arthur has covered the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for a decade. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) and FantasyPros' expert panel. He has also contributed to multiple NFL Draft guides.