2015 Indianapolis Colts Receiving Corps
The Colts have a history of talented receiver, just in the last twenty years they have produced at least two Hall of Famers. Now maybe that is a product of having a great signal caller, but I think some of these guys would definitely flourish in other systems. The Colts might have the best receiving corps in football again this year. There are many teams with really solid guys catching passes: Packers, Patriots, and Broncos, just to name a few. However, the Colts have more depth and more talent overall than any of the other teams in the league.
We need to start this article off with TY Hilton. He might not be the best receiver on the team (Andre Johnson), but actually, maybe he is. TY Hilton has a unique skill set, he has the speed to blow past his defender, but he has the route running skills of a possession receiver. He is a nightmare for any cornerback trying to cover him. Just ask Richard Sherman, self-proclaimed best cornerback in the game, as he got beat for a 73 yard touchdown against the Colts in 2013. He had some dropping issues last year dropping 7 passes which totaled 5.3% of his targets.
Next we have Andre Johnson, one of the newcomers to the Colts. He is going to have a monster year this year, despite being 34 years old. He has always put up great numbers, but this year he has a quarterback who can get him the ball consistently. He won’t have 147 targets, but he will likely still have over 80 receptions this year. I also think he is going to be back over a thousand yards this year.
Donte Moncrief is a second year player out of Old Miss. He had a very strong rookie season with 32 receptions, 444 yards, and 3 touchdowns. I expect those numbers to rise a little bit, however not much because Luck has to spread the wealth around. He is an explosive young player with a lot of play making ability. His biggest issue is having Andre Johnson and TY Hilton in front of him. I’m sure he will see more snaps than he did last year, however, and prove to be a big part of this offense.
Phillip Dorsett is a rookie this year out of the University of Miami, Florida. He is very similar to TY Hilton in terms of speed. I expect him to get the ball on reverses and screen passes a lot of this year as he works to become an NFL receiver. He has a huge upside and I am excited to see what he is going to bring to the table this year.
Duron Carter, son of NFL great and Hall of Famer Cris Carter, is a rookie in some sense. He has been playing in the Canadian Football League (CFL), and has been one of the best receivers in the league. The CFL game is different from the NFL, but he should be able to find a place with the Colts where he can learn and develop. He has a huge upside, just look at his dad. I don’t know how much playing time he will get this year, but I’m sure he will take full advantage of every minute he gets on the field. He may be able to win a few extra minutes this preseason if he performs well.
Griff Whalen is now in his fourth season, all with Indianapolis. He has been bounced back and forth from the practice squad to the active roster. He will likely be a special team player, but look for him to come in and make a few plays this year. Andrew Luck is very comfortable with Whalen as they went to Stanford together and have that chemistry. They have been together for nearly ten years now. His production dropped off last year from the year before, but that is partly because there weren’t as many injuries in the receiving corps. Nonetheless, if there are any injuries, the Colts have a player, in Whalen that Luck is comfortable with that can step right in and give them quality minutes.
The Tight Ends
Dwayne Allen might be one of the most talented tight ends in the league. He is big, strong, and agile, a combination that is not easily found. The problem for Allen over the last couple years has been injuries. He can’t seem to stay completely healthy. He played in just one game in 2013 where he had on catch for one touchdown. Last year he was fighting injuries all year, playing hurt, but still managed to play in 13 games. He only had 29 receptions, but 8 of those were for touchdowns. The skill that Allen brings that cannot be overlooked is his ability to block. He is a fantastic run blocker, and hopefully the Colts will see their first thousand yard rusher in almost a decade.
Coby Fleener is another explosive, young tight end. He has been playing with Luck since their college days at Stanford, which has helped both of them with their transition to the NFL. The last two years Fleener has caught over 100 balls for more than 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is a tight end that can line up in the slot to give themselves a huge mismatch with the defense. I expect more of the same from Fleener this year, most likely another 50+ reception season with around 700 yards receiving. It would be nice to see him achieve double digit touchdowns receptions this year.
As a whole receiving corps, I don’t think there is another group that has as much talent at these skill positions as the Colts. They lead the league in receiving last year, and I expect that they will do much of the same this year. Now that the Colts have what seems to be a formidable running game, it should open up more opportunities for the passing game. Andrew Luck might actually have a play action passing game that the opposing defense has to respect. This year could be a lot of fun as a Colts fan!
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