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Last updated: Fri. May. 16, 2014 - 06:25 am EDT

Five things to learn at Colts rookie minicamp

Swoope's transition from hoops to gridiron could fascinate

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With the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the next step toward the 2014 season for the Indianapolis Colts is their three-day rookie minicamp today through Sunday.

Here are five questions the Colts will begin to explore at the practice complex:

1. Can Erik Swoope play football?

Swoope is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound basketball player who had never played organized football. The Colts project him as a tight end, and players such as Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham have picked up tight end as pros without a background in the game. The Colts used a former basketball player named Marcus Pollard at tight end not that long ago. Whether Swoope can play won't be determined fully in shorts and helmets at minicamp, but it can offer a glimpse. The Colts are strong at tight end with Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, so they can be patient with Swoope. However, they already have a “project” on the roster in outside linebacker Daniel Adongo, so how many projects can one team oversee?

2. Will wide receiver Donte Moncrief emerge as the No.4 receiver?

Moncrief was somewhat of a surprise pick by the Colts in the third round, considering other needs on the team and the relative depth of the receiving corps. But Moncrief brings some size (6-2, 221) and a reputation for having a nice combination of speed and hands. The top three receivers are set in Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and free-agent acquisition Hakeem Nicks. So Moncrief will be pushing to move past Griff Whalen, LaVon Brazill and Da'Rick Rogers in the rotation. Rookie minicamp is a good place to get the coaches thinking ahead.

3. What's the deal with former University of Florida center Jonotthan Harrison?

Harrison was projected as a likely draft pick but was bypassed over seven rounds. So the Colts, who didn't draft a center, picked him up. The idea would seem to be that he could compete for a backup spot behind Khaled Holmes, but is Harrison versatile enough to play other spots? The best backup linemen can move from center to guard to tackle if need be. A few of them can slide to tight end and catch a pass. The Colts' thin ranks at center presents Harrison with an opportunity if he can impress out of the gates.

4. Could quarterback Seth Lobato challenge Chandler Harnish for the No.3 spot?

The Colts are set with starter Andrew Luck and backup Matt Hasselbeck. They've been pleased with Harnish's progress, retaining him for a third training camp. Lobato will be the tallest QB (6-6, 223). He's a former basketball player who walked on in football at Colorado before transferring and becoming a starter at Northern Colorado. He's most likely in camp for throwing purposes. But he could generate further interest as a No.3 challenger if he has a great early showing.

5. Is safety Dewey McDonald on his way from obscurity to the roster?

McDonald, an undrafted free-agent signing, was the only true rookie safety picked up by the Colts from the incoming college class. He played at Fairmont State, then California University of Pennsylvania. Not exactly the Big Ten. But he's 6-foot, 220 with a reputation as a decent hitter. He picked off three passes last season and returned all three for touchdowns. He's probably a long shot to end up on the season-opening 53-man roster, but long shots are a staple of rookie minicamp.

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