Looking at Wide Receivers for the Colts in the Second Round

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Who would be available at wide receiver in the second round for the Colts? Will they really add a wide receiver with the second round pick? Stampede Blue's Josh Wilson explores both of those questions.

We're finally getting close to the NFL Draft actually happening, and this year the Colts don't have a first round pick due to the fact that they traded for running back Trent Richardson last season.  I've already written about how it's unlikely that the Colts will move back into the first round, which would mean that their pick at 59th overall will very likely be their first pick of the draft.  As such, they need to make it count.  As I see it, there are three legitimate position possibilities that the Colts might seriously take in the second round: center, wide receiver, and safety (in no particular order).  Sure, I could see them taking a corner or an outside linebacker, but I think that the three I mentioned are clearly the three most likely positions for the Colts to address.  I will look at all three of them and already looked at the center position (before Phil Costa's retirement, mind you) and today will look at the wide receiver position.

First off, many of you might be wondering why the Colts should draft a receiver, especially after signing Hakeem Nicks, and you might also be puzzled as to why many media folks are picking the Colts to take a receiver at 59 overall.  After all, on paper the position looks good: T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, Da'Rick Rogers, LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen - and don't forget other receiving targets such as tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.  The offense appears set at first glance.  But look beneath the surface, and this is what you have: a legitimate star receiver; a 35-year old on the final year of his contract coming off of a torn ACL; a guy on a one-year contract who has dropped off tremendously in the past two years, has struggled with injuries, and who didn't catch a single touchdown last year; a guy who is young and raw and who needs to improve on his route running if he wants to continue to see significant playing time; a young player with potential but who hasn't been able to get on the field much at all in his NFL career so far, due in part to a suspension; and a guy with physical limitations but who works hard and can be a solid depth player.

Sure, I'm taking the worst case scenario in some of those cases, but the point remains that the Colts can still use some help at wide receiver.  Perhaps even more significantly, Reggie Wayne is 35, coming off of a torn ACL, and is on a contract year.  He can't keep doing this forever, and the Colts need to find someone to replace him.  T.Y. Hilton is certainly capable of stepping in (like he did last year), but other than that, who do the Colts have?  With a star quarterback in Andrew Luck, the Colts would be very wise to surround him with as much receiving talent as possible.

Unlike with the center position, where the best available centers will likely be available at or around the time the Colts pick, the wide receiver position is loaded.  Sammy Watkins is the best receiver in the draft, but there are several other great receivers available.  Even at number 59 in the draft, thanks to the fact that the position is loaded, there will be some very good receiver talent available for the Colts.  I looked at five players that I think could be available when the Colts pick who could be options, and I'll give my thoughts on them as a player and then look at what the Colts might do.

Martavis Bryant

College: Clemson

Height: 6-4

Weight: 211 pounds

Year: Junior

Projected Round: 2-4

Strengths:

  • Great height
  • Good vertical threat who can stretch the field
  • Showed an ability to fight for passes and go up and get them

Weaknesses:

  • Not very physical and at 211 pounds isn't the biggest presence across the middle
  • Questionable hands - drops too many passes
  • One year of starting experience
  • Work ethic questions
  • Needs more work

Allen Robinson

College: Penn State

Height: 6-2

Weight: 220 pounds

Year: Junior

Projected Round: 2

Strengths:

  • Nice size
  • Fights for passes and is willing to be physical to make plays - doesn't shy away from contact
  • Played in an NFL offense with a full NFL route tree
  • Good on catch-and-go passes - dangerous playmaker
  • Good athlete

Weaknesses:

  • Average speed
  • Has some room to improve as a route runner (but has experience with an NFL route tree)
  • Consistency

Davonte Adams

College: Fresno State

Height: 6-1

Weight: 212 pounds

Year: Sophomore

Projected Round: 2-3

Strengths:

  • Great athleticism
  • Fights for passes and can win jump balls
  • Great hands
  • Has a lot of potential

Weaknesses:

  • May have trouble creating separation and needs to bulk up a bit to help fight press coverage at the line
  • Benefitted from a very pass heavy offense with Derek Carr at Fresno State

Jordan Matthews

College: Vanderbilt

Height: 6-3

Weight: 212 pounds

Year: Senior

Projected Round: 2

Strengths:

  • Great athleticism, size, and speed
  • Versatile
  • Good route runner
  • Hard worker; meticulous
  • Plays hard
  • Smart
  • Team captain; four year starter

Weaknesses:

  • Could use more size to play more physical
  • Hands can be an issue
  • Might struggle to create separation on deep routes

Kelvin Benjamin

College: Florida State

Height: 6-5

Weight: 240 pounds

Year: Sophomore

Projected Round: 2

Strengths:

  • Tremendous size - a mismatch
  • Competitive
  • Reliable, big play guy
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Hard to tackle
  • A lot of potential

Weaknesses:

  • Route running
  • Hands

There are several other players I could have taken a look at for the Colts in their spot, and then there also might be some disagreement as to where players will go, which will affect who we would look at on this list for the Colts at number 59 overall.  And even I have doubts about that, as I really think someone like Allen Robinson will probably be gone by the time the Colts picked.  We looked at five players at the wide receiver position who might be options for the Colts: Clemson's Martavis Bryant, Penn State's Allen Robinson, Fresno State's Davonte Adams, Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews, and Flordida State's Kelvin Benjamin.  Overall, if the Colts were going to take a receiver with the 59th overall pick, I'd want it to be Jordan Matthews.  He's a solid, dependable receiver who will consistently produce for the Colts, though he might not be a flashy player in doing so.  He was the guy who asked for tape on the cornerbacks at the Senior Bowl so that he could prepare.  I think he is a guy that the Colts would be wise to look at, and while all of these receivers are legitimate and intriguing options, if it were up to me and I had to take a receiver, I'd take Matthews.  If it were up to me overall, I'd probably take a safety (depending on who was there), and we'll look at potential safety options soon.  In terms of what is actually likely, I think wide receiver is right near the top of the list, and in a draft that is very deep at the position, it might not be a bad idea, either.

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