Since being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, nose tackle Josh Chapman has not started a game and totaled 11 tackles. But the Colts are counting on Chapman to anchor the center of their defense this season. With 2013 starter Aubrayo Franklin gone, Chapman is at the top of the Indianapolis depth chart.
Ricky Jean-Francois, a former LSU standout now on the Colts’ defensive line, said Chapman is ready for a breakout season.
“I see a lot of growth,” Jean-Francois said. “I think I see the old Bama back, the Nick Saban guy. He’s stronger than last year. I don’t know how much stronger he can get. You can see he’s stepped up and ready to take that role for us.
“We always say, ‘In the 3-4 defense if you don’t have a middle man, you ain’t got a defense.’ That’s our guy. To have Josh, a dude who knows how to play that position and is that stout who you can’t move – a brick wall – it’s huge.”
Chapman missed his first NFL season getting over a knee injury suffered at Alabama.
“He’s a big, big guy who knows how to play the nose position, how to play with leverage, play squarely, use his hands and eats up blocks,” Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s a smart player who gets it. He’s steady and doesn’t say a whole lot. He’s great to have.”
The Colts start three days of minicamp on Tuesday.