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Headed for the big time or the big top?
Powers is undoubtedly the best cornerback on the roster at this point.
While he lacks the pure talent that the newly acquired Vontae Davis possesses, he is the more polished and disciplined of the two.
He's going to need to sharpen his man-coverage skills, as it appears he'll be asked to do that more in this system then the previously employed Tampa 2. The team badly needs him to remain healthy, something he's not managed so far in his career.
While Davis isn't currently scheduled to start opposite Powers on the official Colts depth chart, it's clear he'll get the bulk of the work this season. His pure physical talent is clearly first-round quality, while his football IQ and discipline need work.
Head coach Chuck Pagano hopes to shape Davis into a premier corner in this league. If the team can refine his skills and sign him to an affordable long-term deal, he'll be a steal. If they fail, it will be a monumental bust, as it will have cost them a very valuable second-round pick.
If you've heard the coaching staff speak of Tom Zbikowski, you'd think they got a Pro Bowl safety. While he's certainly exuded an energy during his time in Indianapolis, it hasn't been very productive.
Also, he's never started more than six games in his career and has never had more than 24 tackles in a season. He played behind some good safeties in Baltimore, but he clearly wasn't good enough to earn a starting spot there.
Zbikowski is fortunate that there's really no one else on the roster that can push him for the spot.
Bethea will lead this group, and his veteran presence may be the only thing keeping them together. He's a Pro Bowl-caliber safety who has only missed three starts in his NFL career.
Last year, he had a career-high 80 tackles. It's clear he's the best defensive back on the team.
Cassius Vaughn, Joe Lefeged, Justin King, Josh Gordy, Sergio Brown
While Cassius Vaughn is a reliable backup, he's been largely invisible this preseason. The other backup defensive backs might struggle to remain on any roster. Gordy was horrible against the Bengals. Sergio Brown claimed off waivers this weekend.
It's hard to be enthusiastic about this bunch, and my hunch is the coaching staff feels the same. Look for the back end of this group to change throughout the season.
As a unit, this team has been abused throughout the preseason. They've lacked continuity, shown an inexplicable inability to cover any receiver and have incited a feverish salivating among even backup quarterbacks.
The addition of Vontae Davis may help shore that up, but I'm predicting rough times ahead based on their performance so far.