With 96 days until the Indianapolis Colts kick off their season against the Denver Broncos, we look at No. 96, nose tackle Josh Chapman. Photo - Zimbio.com
Indianapolis Colts starting nose tackle Josh Chapman was a two-time BCS National Championship winner at the University of Alabama. He earned second-team All-SEC honors in his senior season in 2011, a season where he played almost the entire time on a torn ACL.
In the 2012 NFL Drafty, Chapman slipped to the 136th overall pick in Round 5 when the Colts finally took him off the board. One of the best nose tackle prospects in the draft, Chapman’s stock took a hit due to his recovery from knee surgery. The Colts activated Chapman briefly during his rookie season before officially placing him on season-ending Injured Reserve, concluding a “redshirt” season for Chapman.
To many fans’ delight, Chapman finally hit the field in 2013 ready to make a name for himself at the nose tackle spot. Although he was not the team’s starter in 2013, he played crucial snaps behind veteran Aubrayo Franklin.
On paper, Chapman didn’t stand out much, but he showed plenty of promise for 2014. His most memorable play ended up being one of the most controversial plays of the NFL season – a shoestring, touchdown “saving” tackle against the Bengals’ BenJarvus Green-Ellis that was originally, properly called a tackle, but was then wrongfully overturned and called a touchdown by now infamous official Jeff Triplette.
When Franklin’s contract was not renewed after the season, it made Chapman the de facto starter for 2014. Although it was rumored they had interest in some free agents, the Colts did not sign any other nose tackles, as well as not selecting any in the 2014 NFL Draft. However, they sign undrafted free agent nose tackle Zach Kerr out of Delaware.
Although he will face plenty of pressure from Kerr, second-year lineman Montori Hughes and newcomer Arthur Jones, the team deciding not to sign a clear-cut, quality nose tackle gives Chapman a vote of confidence to become the Colts’ starter.
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Jake Arthur is the AFC South Division Manager and the Indianapolis Colts Lead Writer for Pro Football Spot, as well as a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurISR and @Spot_Colts on Twitter.