Colts release 3 former draft picks in cut down

Caesar Rayford and Delano Howell survived cutdown day with the

Colts. Three former Indianapolis draft picks did not make it.

Quarterback Chandler Harnish, offensive lineman Ben Ijalana and

defensive tackle Drake Nevis were among 19 players waived on

Saturday by the Colts, who also put three players on the

waived-injured list to reach the league’s mandated 53-man roster

limit.

None of the moves came as a surprise.

Ijalana was a second-round pick in 2011 who was expected to

solidify Indy’s interior line. But he missed the final 12 games of

his rookie season with a knee injury, and then re-injured the knee

at training camp in 2012 and missed the entire season.

Nevis, a third-round pick in 2011, made five starts as a rookie

and three last season, but like Ijalana finished both seasons on

injured reserve.

Harnish, the final pick of last year’s draft, made the team’s

active roster last season, but was inactive for the first five

games and spent the rest of the season on Indy’s practice squad. If

he clears waivers, he could rejoin the Colts’ practice squad

again.

”You have to be mentally tough and bounce back,” Harnish said

after a rough start in Thursday’s preseason finale. ”The players

that stick in this league are the ones that bounce back.”

Rayford and Howell, however, were impressive all summer.

Howell, a college teammate of Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener,

spent most of last season with Buffalo after making the team as an

undrafted free agent. Indy signed the safety in mid-November, and

he led the Colts with 24 tackles in the preseason.

”The coaches always say to make sure you don’t have any regrets

and leave it all out on the field. I feel that’s definitely what I

did,” he said. ”It definitely wasn’t perfect. There are always a

couple of plays I’d want to do over again. I have no regrets and

left it all out there.”

Rayford was one of the most unlikely players to make the roster

at the start of training camp.

But the 6-foot-7, 267-pound linebacker showed steady progress

throughout the preseason. Now the 27-year-old rookie who spent the

last five seasons bouncing around the Arena and Canadian Football

Leagues is on the Colts’ roster.

Linebackers Daniel Adongo and Josh McNary, two of the league’s

more intriguing undrafted rookies, were let go, but could be

brought back for the practice squad.

Adongo, a rugby player from Africa, had never put on a helmet

and pads until the week training camp opened. He never got a shot

to show what he could do in the preseason.

McNary was trying to come back after spending the last two

seasons fulfilling his service commitment to the U.S. Army after

graduating from West Point. He was hobbled by an injury early in

camp and never fully recovered.

Indy also cut safety Larry Asante; offensive linemen Thomas

Austin, Bradley Sowell and Lee Ziemba; defensive backs Marshay

Green and Sheldon Price; defensive linemen Lawrence Guy and Martin

Tevaseu; fullback Robert Hughes; tight end Dominique Jones;

receivers Jeremy Kelley, Jabin Sambrano and Lanear Sampson; and

linebacker Monte Simmons.

Offensive lineman Emmett Cleary, linebacker Shawn Loiseau and

cornerback Daxton Swanson were all waived/injured. If they clear

waivers, they will join Indy’s increasingly crowded injured reserve

list.

Receiver LaVon Brazill will open the season on the

reserve/suspended list after a second violation of the league’s

substance-abuse policy. Brazill will miss Indy’s first four

games.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org