When the Colts selected wide receiver Donte Moncrief in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the pick was almost unanimously praised by fans and analysts alike. Many said that the pick could end up being one of the big steals of the draft and that Moncrief was a very good wide receiver. While it's too early to say on either of those points, everything we've been seeing in camp from Donte Moncrief has been very impressive.
"He is deceptively fast, as well as a tough smart kid," offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said Friday. "It's hard to absorb and digest the volume of our offense. To get lined up is a challenge for a young receiver but he has put the time in with Coach Charlie Williams in the meeting room studying his playbook and he has been able to go out and make some plays for us."
The thing about Moncrief that has stood out the most to me has been that he just looks like he belongs. With rookies, there's a learning curve most of the time, and while I'm not saying that Moncrief doesn't have more to learn or work on, he looks like he's ready to go. He looks very smooth and polished in his game. He's had a few drops here and there in camp, but his route running looks good, he has a tendency to go and get balls, and he's smooth in the edges of the game that you typically don't see rookie receivers in training camp smooth in. Really, I'm not sure how else to say it other than that Moncrief looks very good, smooth, polished, etc. I have loved what I've seen from him.
Also, I think he's going to have a bigger role in the offense this year than I initially thought. When he was drafted, I said that it was a move made primarily for the future, and that's still true - it'll be him and T.Y. Hilton as the future one and two receivers with Andrew Luck, and that's looking like a great core. But Moncrief will play a role in the offense this year, that's for sure. Right now, T.Y. Hilton is clearly the one receiver, Reggie Wayne is the two, and then when the team goes with a three wide receiver set, Hakeem Nicks comes in as the receiver split out wide and Reggie moves to the slot. I think all of that is exactly as it should be. But whenever the team needs a fourth wide receiver, Moncrief will get in, and with the abundance of passing the Colts should have this year, Moncrief will certainly get his chances - and that's not even considering the chance of an injury to one of the top three (hopefully not, though!).
If Donte Moncrief does have to step up, however, there won't be reason for concern for Colts fans. Donte Moncrief looks very impressive so far in training camp, and while I know he has work left to do, the progress so far is enough to leave anyone watching impressed and excited.