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Colts 2015 Player Preview: Wide Receiver Griff Whalen

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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 Griff Whalen.

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Shortly after the 2012 NFL Draft, a draft in which the Colts took Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick and Stanford tight end Coby Fleener with their second round pick, they signed another Stanford receiving target for Luck in undrafted wide receiver Griff Whalen.

Since then, Whalen has spent quite a bit of time with the Colts, sticking around ever since 2012.  His first season was ended when he suffered a broken foot, being placed on season-ending injured reserve before the season started.  Then in 2013, he made the 53-man roster out of training camp thanks to LaVon Brazill's suspension, but after the four games were up he was waived and signed to the practice squad.  A short while after Reggie Wayne suffered a torn ACL, however, Whalen was signed to the active roster, then spent some time on the practice squad again, and then spent time on the active roster again.  Overall in 2013, he played in nine games and started three, catching 24 passes for 259 yards and two scores, averaging 10.8 yards per reception.  In 2014, Whalen made the team primarily as a returner, and that led to him being waived in November with the team signing Josh Cribbs - but then being signed to the practice squad again.  He was again signed to the active roster before the AFC Championship game.  In 2014 he caught just 2 passes for 23 yards, but he did return 15 kicks (averaging 25.3 yards per return) and 26 punts (averaging 7.2 yards per return).

Whalen faces an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster this year, as it would seem that T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, and Duron Carter are all ahead of him on the depth chart.  Furthermore, while the team cut Josh Cribbs, it is likely that Phillip Dorsett will be the Colts' return man, and they have even worked Duron Carter there a bit in offseason workouts. Whalen could gain a bit of an edge over guys like Vincent Brown because of his return ability and familiarity with the team, but even still that would figure to be a competition for the sixth wide receiver spot - a spot that's not even guaranteed to exist for the team.  The Colts have been working with Whalen for three years now and he's not a bad option as a fifth or sixth receiver, but he will need to have an impressive training camp and preseason to stick around with the team at one of those spots.