Starter: David Parry
Backups: Hassan Ridgeway, Zach Kerr, T.Y. McGill, Ricky Lumpkin, Kelcy Quarles, Delvon Simmons
The entire defensive line saw new faces across the board and manning the middle was David Parry, a fifth round pick in the 2014 draft out of Stanford University. He performed as well as someone could ask of a fifth round nose tackle. While his production was not amazing last season with only one sack and four tackles for loss, Parry knew his role in this defense as a gap-filler and played it very well. Heading into the 2016-17 season, Parry wants to be more than just a “gap-filler”. He’d like to have his presence show up on the stat sheet whether it is tackles for loss, QB hits, sacks or pressures.
Hassan Ridgeway is a fourth round pick in this year’s draft. Many Colts fans were disappointed and upset that the Colts picked Phillip Dorsett instead of Ridgeway’s Texas Longhorn teammate, Malcom Brown, in last year’s draft. However, in the eyes of many scouts, Ridgeway might be more valuable to the Colts because he brings an added pass-rushing dimension that Brown lacks. The Colts need as much help getting to the quarterback as possible, and they don’t care where it comes from. A defensive tackle with the ability to stop the run and get to the quarterback is rare in today’s league, and it might set up Ridgeway to backup or start over Parry.
T.Y. McGill impressed last season in limited minutes. He recorded three sacks which is more than all the other defensive tackles on this post recorded last year, combined. Even though McGill showed promise as a backup, he probably has to take a backseat to Ridgeway. Zach Kerr is the only listed nose tackle on the Colts website. Kerr figures to be nothing more than depth at this position because he does not offer any pass-rushing skills to put him ahead of the pack. Kelcy Quarles was on the team last season, but didn’t record any statistic in his two games of action. Quarles will really have to show out this summer to make the final roster. Ricky Lumpkin is on his third NFL team since entering the league in 2012. He will have a tough climb if he wants to make the final roster considering he was not even on a roster last season. Delvon Simmons is an UDFA out of USC. He was impressive in his senior year and made the All-PAC-12 first team. He was disruptive in the run and pass game, and he even had a couple of blocked field goals to his name during his career at USC. Like a few others on his list, making the final roster will be difficult. But if his senior year production at USC is any indication of his skills, he has a decent shot at making the team.