Indianapolis Colts: 5 Players Feeling the Most Pressure Heading into Camp
The offseason workouts and camps are a time for rookies to prove themselves.
For the Indianapolis Colts, it's also a time for some veterans to watch their backs.
There are a number of players heading into camp that have real shots to grab starting jobs. Meanwhile, the guys ahead of them are beginning to feel the heat.
While the players are getting prepared to start a new season over the next couple of months, let's go ahead and take a look at the players that should be looking behind their backs.
Note: Depth chart orders are based off of the listings from Ourlads.com.
After signing a four-year deal worth $16 million (h/t Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), many believed that Walden would be the starter once the regular season began.
With the Colts drafting Bjoern Werner, Walden needs to look out.
According to George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin, Werner looked very good during rookie mini-camp. Even with his four-point stance during drills, Chuck Pagano appeared to like what he saw.
As a first-rounder, fans expect Werner to get a chance at the starting job. He showed impressive pass-rushing ability and could collapse the pocket at Florida State.
While nothing has been decided as to who will be the starter at this point, Walden has to be feeling some heat from Werner at this point.
Brown started the 2012 season as the starting running back for the Colts. After injuries kept him off of the field for a number of games last season, Vick Ballard was able to emerge as a go-to guy for the Colts in the running game.
After a solid year for Ballard, things aren't looking good for Brown as the starter. According to a report by Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com, the Colts are really liking Ballard as the starter.
Last week I discussed why Ballard should be the starter, and a lot of fans seemed to agree. With Brown's injuries and Ballard's emergence, it certainly makes sense to have Ballard as the starter.
For Brown, he will need to prove that he can stay on the field and start making big plays like he's been known to do in his career.
There's little argument that McGlynn's starting job should be up for grabs in 2013.
The interior of the offensive line was quite bad in 2012, with McGlynn as one of the biggest reasons why. A ranking by ProFootballFocus.com had the Colts as the second-worst offensive line in 2012. They had McGlynn graded as the worst player on the line, putting up a grade of minus-25.1.
Bringing in both Donald Thomas and Hugh Thornton should improve the inside of the offensive line. Thomas will likely be a starter, while Thornton will be working to take McGlynn's starting job.
Thornton showed some real aggressiveness at Illinois and has a lot of upside. Balance may be an issue, but he seems to be working hard at becoming an NFL-caliber player.
At this moment, McGlynn isn't looking like a starter in 2013.
The Colts brought in a number of new faces on the defensive line, but a lot of people believed that the veteran Franklin would possibly be the starter for 2013.
With so many players on the line, he has to be feeling a lot of pressure to earn the starting job.
Josh Chapman has been hyped up tremendously after missing all of last season due to injury. In fact, it appears that Chapman has been working with the first team during OTAs, according to a tweet by Kevin Bowen of Colts.com.
It won't be easy for Franklin this offseason. He will need to work and prove that he can make a bigger impact as a veteran than a younger guy like Hughes or Chapman.
The Colts may have traded away A.Q. Shipley to the Baltimore Ravens, but Satele still has some pressure behind him on the depth chart at center.
Khaled Holmes may have only been a fourth-round selection, but his upside definitely helps him earn some consideration as the team's starting center.
At 6'3'', Holmes is pretty tall for a center. He does a good job holding his block throughout the play while staying aggressive. He excels in a zone-blocking scheme and is pretty quick for his size. Like Thornton, he struggles with balance and sometimes doesn't recognize and pick up blitzing defenders.
Satele wasn't great in 2012, but he wasn't awful. However, he will need to stay healthy and show signs of improvement in order to keep Holmes on the bench.