May 4, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs with the ball during minicamp at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
And then there were three...
The Colts have signed third round pick T.Y. Hilton, WR out of Florida International. Hilton was a player the Colts coveted in the 2012 Draft. They traded back into the third round and took Hilton with the 92nd overall pick.
According to Phil Richards, Hilton's contract is 4 years at $2.642 million per.
How the Colts use Hilton in 2012 could decide the fate of Austin Collie. Prior to the three concussions (and it was three, not two) he sustained in 2010, Collie was considered the Colts' Wes Welker in the slot (or, if you want to go even further back, the Neo-Stokley). Since the injuries, Collie has not looked himself. He only averaged 9.5 yards-per-catch last season, scoring only one touchdown. Part of the was the play of the quarterbacks, but if you watch Collie play today, something is off.
Hilton is, pretty obviously, the team's new slot receiver. He's 5'10, 183 lbs, and lightening quick. He's also a punt and kick returner who opened eyes last year with some big returns against SEC competition. If Hilton is the new slot guy, and with speedsters like LaVon Brazill and Donnie Avery on the roster, where does that leave Collie?
Based on my observations, Collie is very fast (despite his slow 40 time at the 2009 Scouting Combine) when he plays the slot, finds holes in the defense, and makes moves in space. While he certainly does not "suck" if you split him out, it isn't an area he is particularly good at.
Of course, nothing is written in stone. However, unless injuries slow the progress of Hilton or Brazill, Collie's days in Indianapolis look numbered. It's worth noting that Hilton has been hampered by a calf injury during the Colts' OTAs.