Position Battles: 4th Wide Receiver
Not too much going on right now, and there is still a month and 10 days until training camp starts, so it is a perfect time to get into the many positional battles that will occure during training camp. One of the less glamorous ones is for the fourth wide receiver.
Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Anthony Gonzalez are the top 3 receivers on the team. There is no question there. Harrison is a future Hall of Famer, Wayne led the yards last season, and Gonzalez had 44 yards per game. They are in no competition right now. However, there are many players who could take the spot behind them.
Some of you may not realize the importance of a fourth wide receiver, but for any Colts fans that saw the horrendous wide receiver play in the Chargers-Colts game in November, you know that having strong backups can make the difference between a win or a loss or 6 interceptions or 4 interceptions. Here are the 5 leading candidates for the job:
Devin Aromashodu: Aromashodu made an impression on some people with his play as the third and fourth receiver when Harrison, Aaron Moorehead, and Craphonso Thorpe were out with injuries. Aromashodu had 7 receptions for 97 yards in 6 games last year. Aromashodu has good sixe (6-2, 202), and he made some big plays with 2 catches over 20 yards. However, I’ve never been a big Aromashodu fan. A fourth receiver, in my opinion, should be someone that could be built into a starter in the future. Aromashodu is a practice squad-caliber player who got a chance last year and performed well. I want to see a future starter at the fourth wide receiver, not a practice squad journey man. I do not see him being able to outplay the other candidates in the preseason.
Roy Hall: Hall didn’t get extensive playing time in college, playing behind Santonio Holmes, Ted Ginn, Anthony Gonzalez, and Brian Robiskie. Last season, he suffered a separated shoulder in week 3, and his season was finished. However, he showed great promise in his rookie season as a special teams player, and he also was praised by the coaches for his work in minicamp and training camp. Personally, Hall is my favorite candidate right now. He is 6-3, 240, but he runs a 4.35 forty yard dash. His intangibles are amazing. Now it’s time to see if he can use them on the field. He’s the most likely candidate for this spot.
Pierre Garcon: Garcon was picked in the 6th round out of Mount Union College in Division III. The Colts have already said that he would not be used as a return specialist, contrary to popular belief, so he will have to perform well in training camp to even make the roster. Although his kick returning skills are what he is known for, he also had a solid career at Mount Union, averaging 15 touchdowns per season there. Garcon is likely to make the team, since he is a 2008 draft pick, but probably as the fifth receiver or a special teams player.
Sam Giguere: Giguere is an undrafted free agent out of Sherbrooke College in Quebec, Canada. He is a freak of nature, as this picture will prove:
As you can see, he has the build of a linebacker, but he’s only 6-0, 211 and runs a 4.49 forty. He is a solid kick returner as well, and that’s his best chance of making the team. He has to make the big jump from Canadian college football to the National Football League, which may be a big adjustment. However, he is one of the most talented rookies on the team, and I could see him being the kick returner, but probably not the fourth wide receiver. Right now.
Courtney Roby: Roby was signed this offseason after being released from the Cincinnati Bengals. He was drafted out of Indiana University by the Tennessee Titans, but he never lived up to the hype. He was a starter for 6 games in 2005, but he only caught 21 passes. However, he could very well make the roster as a fourth wide receiver. He’s a local product, going to North Central High School. Roby was all-state in track as a senior in high school, so he can return kicks. Roby is an enigma, since this is his first year on the team and he didn’t play last season. He could make the roster, but the practice squad is more likely.
4th Wide Receiver-Roy Hall: Hall is unbelievably talented. He is the size of a tight end, but he runs like a slot receiver. He’s too talented of a player not to have on the field.
5th Wide Receiver-Sam Giguere: Like Hall, Giguere is a freak of nature. He’s big and fast. I expect him to be the starting kick returner come fall, and he will make an impact on passing downs as well.
Practice Squad Receiver(s)-Courtney Roby: I’m not a big fan of Aromashodu. I thought Craphonso Thorpe was just as good if not better than him, and the Colts let him go to the Jaguars. Roby is a solid receiver who has proved more in his career than Aromashodu, who has just bounced around from practice squad to practice squad.
Cuts-Pierre Garcon & Devin Aromashodu: Sorry Pierre, Aroma. You two are good, but not good enough for the Colts. Since you played for the Colts, you two will end up for the Titans, where you presumably will be starters due to the crappiness of their current receivers. Have fun.