The Colts certainly have some very good wide receivers. T.Y. Hilton really emerged in 2013 as a star wide receiver, catching 82 passes for 1,083 yards and 5 touchdowns in the regular season and catching 17 passes for 324 yards and 2 touchdowns in the playoffs. Combined, Hilton caught 99 passes for 1,407 yards and 5 touchdowns. He had to do a lot of it without much help from the other receivers, as after Reggie Wayne went down Hilton was the thrust into the number one role and double teamed.
Reggie Wayne has long been one of the best receivers in the NFL, but he is coming off of a torn ACL. Still, he was the team's third leading receiver overall and the second leading receivers among actual wide receivers. That shows very clearly that the Colts need help at the receiver position: a guy who missed 9 regular season games still ranked that highly on the season stats. Reggie Wayne is coming off of a torn ACL and T.Y. Hilton cannot do it all by himself. There is no doubt that the Colts need to add help at the wide receiver position.
The other three receivers who tried to fill in for the Colts in the second half of the season all showed potential but none of them were good enough for the Colts to pass on adding a receiver. Griff Whalen was consistent and in my opinion played better than any of the other three, but even then it wasn't anything spectacular. He caught 24 passes for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns in the regular season. LaVon Brazill, who like Whalen was a second year receiver, caught 12 passes for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns in the regular season and added 6 catches for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns in the playoffs. He showed potential but wasn't used as much. He will be competing in camp this year and while he is talented, he's not nearly good enough to feel comfortable at the position.
Da'Rick Rogers, an undrafted rookie in 2013, is the player who many fans feel has the potential to be the receiver the Colts really need. I agree. He has the potential to be a legitimate starting wide receiver in the NFL - but that doesn't mean the Colts should go into next season just expecting that to happen. Rogers was impressive at times this year, but I didn't think he was nearly as good as many fans thought he was. I saw a guy with great speed who was a playmaker but who dropped way too many passes and was a terrible route runner - in other words, a talented receiver who showed potential but was very inconsistent. I am absolutely all for giving Rogers many chances next season and I still have a lot of hope for him, but if the Colts just expect him to improve and go into next season expecting him to be the player they really need, then I won't feel comfortable at all. They need to add another receiver or two who can make an impact next season and hopefully continue to bring Rogers, Whalen, and Brazill along.
The Colts need to give Andrew Luck the best chance to succeed, and at the same time adding another wide receiver will take pressure off of T.Y. Hilton as well. With a quarterback like Luck, you can never have too many weapons and the Colts very much need to add another one or two for Andrew Luck.
Two offseasons ago, the Colts signed Donnie Avery to start at receiver and he struggled with drops and didn't do much, hurting the offense more than he helped it. Last offseason, the Colts signed Darrius Heyward-Bey to start at receiver and he struggled with drops even more than Avery did and he did even less than Avery did, hurting the offense more than Avery did. For the third straight offseason, the Colts need to add a receiver who can contribute, but they also need to prepare for the day when Reggie Wayne won't be there anymore - and that day is approaching more quickly than any of us want to acknowledge.
I know it might be a lot to ask, but I'd like this year's offseason addition at wide receiver to actually be able to catch the football, please.
Potential Wide Receiver Options for teams this Offseason:
Free Agents (keep in mind some of these players will be re-signed by their current team):
- Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
- Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
- Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
- Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
- Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
- James Jones, Green Bay Packers
- Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
- Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles
- Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks
- Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans
- Devin Hester, Chicago Bears
- Ted Ginn, Carolina Panthers
- Sammy Watkins, Clemson
- Mike Evans, Texas A&M
- Marquise Lee, USC
- Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
- Allen Robinson, Penn State
- Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
- Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
- Jarvis Landry, LSU
- Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
- Davonte Adams, Fresno State
- Martavius Bryant, Clemson
- Paul Richardson, Colorado
- Josh Huff, Oregon
- Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
- Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss