Heading into training camp, it’s worth taking a look at a few IDP position battles that have yet to be resolved. There is potential production available on the waiver wire depending on who wins each role. And knowing who’s competing in each battle will give you a leg-up when injuries inevitably occur.
Indianapolis Colts DE
The one thing that seems set about the Colts defensive end is Jabaal Sheard. Sheard was on the field for 898 snaps last season as a 3-4 OLB and ended with 52 total tackles and 5.5 sacks. Sheard does have experience playing as a 4-3 DE as Indy transitions. All that said, Sheard is 29 so Indy knows he’s not the long-term answer at the position.
Sheard’s bookend last season, John Simon, may not even make the roster headed into the season. Tarell Basham was a 3rd Round pick in 2017. He struggled as a 3-4 OLB last year only earning 222 snaps but still ended with 2.0 sacks. Reports have said he’s been more comfortable back at his natural 4-3 DE position. Basham has gotten some starter hype already. Of course, this is still OTAs, and Indy just spent two 2nd Round picks at DE. Basham may still be on waivers in some leagues making him a cheap flyer if he can hold onto the job.
Indy drafted Kemoko Turay 52nd overall and followed that up with Tyquan Lewis 64th overall. Turay will likely begin his career as a situational pass rusher. Turay’s ceiling may be in the Yannick Ngakoue-territory. The Colts see Lewis as a versatile chess piece on their D-Line. Lewis played all over the D-Line at Ohio State and, early on, it looks like Indy wants to use him in the same way. This usage will likely limit his upside as an IDP.
New DC Matt Eberflus is a first time DC, so it’s hard to know how he’s going parse out his DE snaps. Eberflus has been the LB coach in Dallas since 2011.