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The first week of Colts OTAs was filled with more drama and provided us with a glimpse into the potential development of guys on the current Colts roster. This week was much more exciting and full of news that would excite all Colts fans even though players are just in shorts and a t-shirt.

In this article, I will recap the high moments of OTAs as well as discuss moves the Colts might make as a result of this week and OTAs overall.

Ashton Dulin earns rave reviews 

A positive development for the Colts; it appears Dulin is having a nice round of OTAs so far. He had his moments last year, but I think this version of Frank Reich’s offense, where the Colts will look to attack the middle of the field more, will benefit a player like Dulin.

Friend of The Blue Stable George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin notes above that Dulin’s career path looks similar to Zach Pascal, and I don’t think it’s a mistake that the Colts are giving him an extended look in minicamp. I think Dulin has the potential to take over as the fourth-best wide receiver on this team.

The Colts like to grow their own and pay their own, and with Dulin being the highest-paid WR on the team, I think they intend for him to have a pretty sizeable role next season. Now, it is worth keeping in mind that the Colts’ best receivers, Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce are on rookie contracts, but I still think Dulin sees an increase in his usage next year because he’s earned it.

The Colts may be looking at adding a veteran WR

As Joel Erickson of the IndyStar reported, the Colts may be looking at adding a veteran WR even with the play of Parris Campbell and Ashton Dulin in OTAs. Don’t forget that 2nd round selection Alec Pierce has flashed too and that Michael Pittman Jr. seems to be building a rapport with new QB Matt Ryan.

T.Y. Hilton is a player that is mentioned when discussing potential veteran options who could return to the Colts, and it seems like I’m hearing his name more this summer than I did in any game last year, to be candid. If I’m Chris Ballard, I’d want a guy who has a strong connection with Matt Ryan already, and Julio Jones fits the mold.

Something to keep in mind is with this undrafted free agent class and rookie class in general, there may be some surprise cuts at WR later in the off-season, and that might be a prime time to add someone before the season starts.

Julian Blackmon works in drills

In perhaps the biggest development of the week, Julian Blackmon coming off of a torn Achilles has started practicing with the team in DB drills. I am beyond excited about what this means for the Colts and Gus Bradley’s defense.

Blackmon will have the chance to be the single-high safety while displaying his ranginess and explosiveness as an athlete and be put in a position to make plays on the ball.

Now, this is Blackmon’s second major injury in his NFL career because he had a torn ACL coming into his rookie season, and as mentioned before, he’s coming off a torn Achilles now. I discussed his ranginess and explosiveness, but that’s what he was known for pre-injury. I would be interested to see if he’s lost a step.

If Blackmon has lost a step, watch out for Nick Cross, the rookie out of Maryland, to make an immediate impact. Regardless of Blackmon’s status, I think Cross gets rotational snaps early and maybe pushes for a starting spot by the end of the season.

I also think the presence of Rodney Mcleod is worth noting as well, as he is still a capable player at safety, and I think he plays a significant role for this team as a veteran leader and as a third safety in some looks.

A strong culture is being built upon by Coach Reich

Now, I think this is the fun part of the off-season, and when the foundations for success are laid. Something as simple as moving sand from one end to another can build chemistry, trust, and togetherness for a team. David Thornton, the director of player engagement, and Coach Reich do a great job of ensuring the team stays together, and this is a fun clip that displays that.

Storylines to watch heading into mandatory minicamp

As we head into mandatory minicamp, these are some things I think every fan should keep an eye on:

  • If Ashton Dulin and Parris Campbell continue their strong play
  • What’s going on with Darius Leonard? Is this just a minor ankle injury or something else?
  • Does Kenny Moore participate in mandatory minicamp? How involved is he in the mandatory minicamp?
  • Can one of Strachan, Patmon, or Coutee start to flash?
  • Do the Colts sign a veteran WR?

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Zach Schankerman

Hey Colts Nation! I am so excited to be writing for The Blue Stable Team, looking forward to creating dialogue around a team I've been a fan of my whole life!

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