Colts Offense: Potential Position Battles to Watch

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Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Battle of the WRs: Who’s next behind Hilton and Johnson?

Emerging superstar  T.Y. Hilton and recently acquired All-Pro Andre Johnson headline the deepest position group on the Colts roster and arguably the best wide receiver group in the NFL. The Colts have stockpiled an amazing assortment of weapons at receiver which has Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton ecstatic. In a recent interview with ESPN staff writer Mike Wells, Hamilton said:

"I would liken it to playing chess and replacing my pawns with bishops and knights,” he said. “Honestly, I think it’s a great opportunity for us to really see if we can live up to the so-called hype."

While Hilton and Johnson are penciled in as starters, who will fall into that 3rd starting receiver position or will it be a committee style similar to the running game? That remains to be seen. Let’s look at who will be competing for that third and fourth spot.

Donte Moncrief:

In the NFL, any offseason news about a young player  is typically bad news this time of year. In reference to Donte Moncrief, mum’s the word. It has been so quiet lately that some might have begun to overlook him with the other recent acquisitions at WR and the departure of future Hall of Famer Reggie Wayne.

In 2014, Moncrief was a surprise to many analysts and media personalities in his rookie season. Entering his second year with the Colts, the 2014 3rd round draft pick from Ole Miss has the height-weight-speed combination that makes opposing cornerbacks cringe. At 6-2 221 lbs. Moncrief posted  a 4.40 40-yard dash in the 2014 NFL Combine. During his rookie year, Moncrief abused opponents for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Moncrief’s ceiling is still very high. Despite facing the “rookie wall” in the second half of the season, he still managed to improve the more he played. Back in April, Head Colts reporter Steve Andress spoke with Head Coach Chuck Pagano regarding Moncrief:

"“He’s a competitive guy and he’s not afraid of any challenge. He’s not going to back down from any challenge,” said Pagano. “Having said that, that’s obviously going to factor in as we move forward, just his mindset. He’s a great competitor. He will go back and study all that tape and see what people did to him. He’s got such a high ceiling and room for improvement. The sky’s the limit for him.”"

Phillip Dorsett:

Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Introducing the controversial first round draft pick, Phillip Dorsett. Exactly why he was a controversial pick is still a mystery to me. Dorsett is practically a clone of T.Y. Hilton and is likely be part of the 3 & 4-WR packages.

He looks to be the backup behind Hilton but don’t be surprised if you see both on the field in some sets. The speed that Dorsett possesses -Sub 4.3 40-yard dash at his pro day – indicate that he and Hilton can blow the top off of almost any defense.

As I had previously stated in a recent article recapping the draft, “It is already widely assumed that Dorsett is the new kick and punt returner, In fact, less than 24 hours after being selected the Colts parted ways with return specialist Josh Cribbs. While he may contribute immediately on special teams, Grigson does not spend a first round pick on a return man.”

Dorsett looks to be a cornerstone and compliment to Hilton and Moncrief for years to come. His addition to the receiving corps  makes the group a match up nightmare and  provides Andrew Luck  with yet another explosive playmaker to his arsenal.

Duron Carter:

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From the controversy to the legacy, Duron Carter – son of Hall of Famer Cris Carter – is the dark horse of the WR group. Carter has been previously called an “unknown” by Pagano due to this being his first season in the NFL. Before being signed by the Colts in February, Carter played two seasons in the CFL for the Montreal Alouettes.  In those two seasons Carter tallied 124 receptions for 1,939 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Carter’s collegiate career was riddled with red flags and he has more than embraced his mistakes. Simply, Carter hated school but his love of football was undying. He told ESPN writer Mike Wells:

"I always knew I was a football player and I always wanted to be in the NFL. I didn’t really know the route it took to get there. I messed that opportunity up, a few opportunities, really. And for me, I’m really on my last chance and making sure I do everything day-to-day, doing everything right, not making any wrong decisions. Don’t shoot myself in the foot. That’s what I always seemed to do before."

Carter is the enigma of the this WR bunch. Another height-weight-speed nightmare, the 6-5  205 lbs. wide receiver  runs a sub 4.5 40-yard dash but remains unproven at the NFL Level. With the support of a Hall of Fame father, the sky is the limit for Carter.

However, At this stage of his career he needs to develop further  as the 4th WR while he becomes acclimated with the speed of the NFL, but as he told Colts reporter Kevin Bowen,“Eventually, I would like to be out of the shadow of Cris Carter but that’s a big shadow, and not a bad shadow to be under at all.”