If you take a look at the Colts' wide receiver position this year, it seems loaded with talent. There's the team's big free agent signing in Andre Johnson. There's the team's first round draft pick in Phillip Dorsett. There's the intriguing rookie signed out of the CFL in Duron Carter. And, of course, there's second-year man Donte Moncrief. But the one constant in the group is T.Y. Hilton, the only one of the group that consistently produced for the Colts in 2014 and the team's number one wideout entering the 2015 season.
Earning his first career Pro Bowl berth, Hilton was one of the league's best receivers last season, catching 82 passes for 1,345 yards and seven scores, averaging 16.4 yards per reception. For much of the season, including the AFC Championship game, Hilton was the only viable receiving threat the Colts had. There were spurts where Donte Moncrief would produce, and the same was true of Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks. But consistency? That was severely lacking from the position - outside of Hilton, of course. His status as Andrew Luck's favorite target was firmly established last year, having a career year after playing good football in each of his first two years as well. In his three year career so far, Hilton has racked up 214 receptions for 3,289 yards and 19 scores, averaging 15.4 yards per catch.
This year, he's a part of an exciting receiver position, and that should help Hilton's play as well. With players who can make plays alongside him in the offense, it should make things a bit easier for Hilton who won't be able to be the sole focus of the defense anymore. Veteran Andre Johnson will be the possession receiver that the Colts didn't have for much of last season, while Phillip Dorsett, Donte Moncrief, and Duron Carter will likely all be able to get deep and be speedsters that last year only Hilton (and occasionally Moncrief) were.
There's no doubt about it - T.Y. Hilton's role in the Colts' offense is firmly established and he'll play a major part in the unit in 2015. Only now, he'll have plenty of other receivers playing alongside him that will help take the pressure off of Hilton, which could make the connection of Andrew Luck to T.Y. Hilton even more dangerous.