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Colts Position Group Preview: Safeties


The Starting Safeties: Julian Blackmon (FS) and Rodney Thomas II (SS)

From where I’m seated, and I think to many Colts fans, Julian Blackmon is an underrated safety in this league. He’s rangy, can tackle, and is smart. He will have a lapse every now and then, but so does almost everyone else. Overall, he’s the least of this team’s worries when it comes to this position. 

Rodney Thomas, on the other hand, I believe will be the starting strong safety. Although this is the case, he’s not as reliable a player as Blackmon. He’s lengthy and is also smart, but there was a reason why he was selected in the seventh round a few years back. An athletic player, Thomas will need to be more consistent throughout the season should he wish to remain on the field. 


The Backup Safeties: Nick Cross and Trevor Denbow

Nick Cross has the potential to be a breakout for the Colts. Should Rodney Thomas struggle, Cross will most likely be his replacement. A third round pick last year, Cross has what it takes to start over Thomas, it’s just a matter of who can be more consistent from game to game. 

A UDFA out of SMU last season, Denbow is one of those whom the Colts have developed well so far. He still has plenty to learn, but he’s more than capable of playing well should his name be called. It’s just difficult when you have Blackmon, Thomas, and Cross all in front of you on the depth chart. 


The Rest: Henry Black

Henry Black is one of the borderline roster players for the Colts this summer. He showed some ability to play with the Packers a few seasons ago, but he’ll need to do it again given this would be his first season on an active roster since 2021. Him being on the Colts practice squad last year does give him the upper hand on other borderline safeties this summer, but he’s definitely not one who’s destined for a roster spot. 


To Summarize…

As I already explained, the Colts safety group is nowhere near one of the best in the league. But what it does possess is a number of players who are hungry to prove that they belong. Nevertheless, it’d be smart for the franchise to look at free agent options for this season and towards the draft for next year. 


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