Colts could have as many as six new starters on defense in 2017

With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror, and organized team activities and minicamps in full swing, here’s a starting lineup projection for the Indianapolis Colts:


QB: Andrew Luck: He finished fifth in the NFL in passing touchdowns (31) and completed a career-high 63.5 percent of his passes, but he’s also coming off shoulder surgery that's causing him to miss the team’s offseason workouts.

RB: Frank Gore: The 12-year veteran is only 620 yards shy of moving from eighth to fifth on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.

TE: Jack Doyle: Moves into the No. 1 tight end role after he proved he's more than a blue-collar worker when he was the Colts’ most reliable player at that position by having a career high in receptions (59), yards (584) and touchdowns (5) last season.

LT: Anthony Castonzo: He’s the veteran of the offensive line that will feature three second-year players. Castonzo has played all 16 games in four of his six seasons and has started all 89 games he’s played.

LG: Jack Mewhort: Started all 40 games he played during his first three seasons. A knee injury caused him to miss six games last season.

C: Ryan Kelly: The 2016 first-round pick started every game as a rookie.

RG: Joe Haeg: He started 14 of the 15 games he played while showing off his versatility. He started at left guard, right guard and right tackle at different points during his rookie season.

RT: Le’Raven Clark: Started the final three games of his rookie season after being inactive for seven games earlier in the year.

WR: T.Y. Hilton: The speedster led the NFL in receiving yards (1,448) and receptions of at least 20 yards with 28.

WR: Donte Moncrief: Injuries in 2016 slowed down Moncrief’s development. A shoulder injury at two different points of the 2016 season limited Moncrief to only nine games.


DE: Kendall Langford: The nine-year veteran had never missed a game during the first eight years of his career. But a knee injury last season limited him to just seven games.

DT: Henry Anderson: The third-year player out of Stanford spent most of last season trying to regain his form after tearing his ACL in Week 9 of the 2015 season.

NT: Johnathan Hankins: The former New York Giant will be the anchor of what the Colts hope will an improved defensive line. The Giants had the third-best run defense last season with Hankins playing up front.

OLB: John Simon: In his first year with the Colts after spending the past three seasons with the Houston Texans. Simon has 10 sacks in his career.

ILB: Edwin Jackson: Started the final eight games of the 2016 season after Sio Moore and Josh McNary couldn’t handle the job. Jackson was third on the team in tackles with 66 to go with two sacks.

ILB: Sean Spence: The former Tennessee Titan is coming off a season in which he had a career-high 54 tackles and three sacks.

OLB: Jabaal Sheard: He’s the veteran of the Colts’ new linebackers group. The 28-year-old had 13 sacks in his two seasons with the New England Patriots.

CB: Vontae Davis: The former back-to-back Pro Bowl pick played through an assortment of nagging injuries last season. He had a career-low 37 tackles and just one interception in 2016.

FS: Malik Hooker: The 2017 first-round pick returned three of his seven interceptions for touchdowns last season at Ohio State.

SS: Clayton Geathers: The Colts plan to have Geathers play a dual role of safety and hybrid linebacker because of his athleticism and ability to defend tight ends in coverage.

CB: Quincy Wilson: The hope is the rookie out of Florida will bring some stability to the second cornerback position after Patrick Robinson and Greg Toler failed to maintain the position the past four years.


K: Adam Vinatieri: The 44-year-old has missed only seven field goals in the past three seasons.

P: Jeff Locke: The former Minnesota Viking replaces the retired Pat McAfee in handling punts, kickoffs and holding duties on kicks.

KR: Quan Bray: Missed the final 10 games last season with an ankle injury. Had 570 yards on 21 kickoff returns in 2015.

PR: Bray: Had 166 yards on 21 punt returns in 2015.