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Colts 2015 Player Preview: Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on August 1 with a 90-man roster, and we'll be taking a look at every single player on the roster (though it obviously will change some) as we approach camp. Today, we look at wide receiver Donte Moncrief.

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There is a lot of excitement in Indianapolis surrounding the Colts' offense for 2015, and in particular their stacked wide receiver position.  Interestingly, however, one player seems to have been overshadowed more than others, and that's Donte Moncrief.  T.Y. Hilton deservedly gets a lot of credit for having a Pro Bowl season last year and being the only consistent threat for Andrew Luck to throw to.  Andre Johnson has received a lot of attention as one of the Colts' biggest free agent signings, which makes a lot of sense considering he's a potential Hall of Fame wideout.  Phillip Dorsett has drawn a lot of attention as well, considering he's the team's first round pick and an exciting talent.  And then, to a lesser degree, there has been a lot of excitement about Duron Carter as well, as the Colts signed the talented receiver out of the CFL this offseason.  I'd argue that all four of those players have received significantly more attention this offseason than Donte Moncrief, but the latter is a player we shouldn't forget about, either.

As a rookie in 2014, Moncrief played in all sixteen games (starting two) and caught 32 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns while also adding four rushes for 17 yards.  In the playoffs, he added five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown, meaning that in 19 games total (regular season and playoffs), he caught 37 passes for 530 yards and four scores.  Those numbers don't hold up to some of the other rookie receivers from a year ago in what was a phenomenal class, but they are still solid numbers nonetheless from a third round draft pick in his rookie season.

So why has he been overlooked?  With Reggie Wayne injured and Hakeem Nicks unproductive, the Colts had T.Y. Hilton and then everyone else when it came to the receiver position last year, and the struggles showed clearly (most notably in the AFC Championship game).  Donte Moncrief saw increased time as the season went on, but he never saw as much time as many would have figured considering the issues at the position.  Moncrief was essentially just a deep threat for the Colts last year, and while they desperately needed that, he was often invisible other than a few exciting plays.  Because of that, I think that fans have moved on to more exciting things, such as the arrival of Andre Johnson and the drafting of speedster Phillip Dorsett.  Clearly, Moncrief's rookie season wasn't great, but we should never judge a player simply by his first year in the league and it's expected that he'll continue to improve.  For all of the talent that Dorsett and Carter have, Moncrief is a very talented wideout as well who will likely continue to get better.

In short, don't give up on Donte Moncrief.  The Colts sure haven't, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all to see him end up as the team's third wide receiver in 2015.  He should absolutely make the team, but the question is about how much playing time he would get in a loaded receiver position.  And I think that he stands a chance to get quite a bit of snaps and targets and to factor in prominently into the Colts' exciting offense this season.