Nov 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) reacts during the third quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts defeated the Jaguars 23-3. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Indianapolis Colts may have found a way to make the league’s most prolific passing offense even more potent.
As the team’s 3rd round pick this year, Donte Moncrief has far surpassed the expectations that are normally placed on a rookie wideout. While the NFL’s normal rule of thumb is that it takes a young wide receiver at least 3 seasons to make a legitimate impact, Moncrief has already made his presence felt in his inaugural season. The 21-year old wideout has 24 receptions for 390 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on the season and counting.
In Sunday’s win against the Washington Redskins, Moncrief had 3 receptions for 134 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. His biggest reception of the day came on a 79-yard long bomb from QB Andrew Luck, when he ran past all Redskins’ defenders and caught the ball in perfect stride on his way to “the house”.
With 14-year veteran Reggie Wayne having lost a step and being relegated to a glorified possession receiver (as father time gets us all), the offense desperately needs someone on the other side to pair with emerging 3rd-year wideout T.Y. Hilton to help better stretch the field.
That player isn’t Hakeem Nicks.
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Nicks is averaging 10.1 yards per reception and had 0 receptions on Sunday afternoon. He had 0 receptions because he didn’t play much (17 snaps). He was passed on the depth chart Sunday afternoon by Moncrief (28 snaps) and rightfully so. Quite frankly, it’s been a move that’s been a long time coming, as Nicks has shown little explosion and scarce burst. However, here’s hoping it actually stays this way, this time for good.
Afterall, even after Moncrief’s Week 8 breakout performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in which he had 7 receptions for 113 receiving yards and 1 touchdown, it was Hakeem Nicks that was the wideout once again playing with both Hilton and Wayne most frequently a week later.
It should be Moncrief now going forward.
Moncrief’s averaging 16.3 yards per reception. That’s 10th in the NFL among wide receivers with 20+ receptions on the season, a pretty impressive feat for a rookie 3rd round pick. While Moncrief has always boasted incredible physical measurables, it’s starting to show on the field on a consistent basis. Credit the young man for working hard, as he has tremendous talent and physical ability and is starting to fine-tune it.
It’s time for the Colts to finally showcase that skillset on a continual weekly basis. T.Y. Hilton can’t be the lone Colts’ wideout that can blow the top off a defense’s secondary, as the offense’s sole deep threat. Moncrief has shown that he can not only be a tremendous deep threat for QB Andrew Luck and the offense, but an explosive playmaker overall.
It’s time to make the league’s most prolific passing offense that much more potent.
Nov 30, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeated Washington 49-27. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports