If there's one position on the Colts roster that seems to have great depth, it's at wide receiver. T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson are the starters, while Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, and Duron Carter are likely to fill depth roles. Furthermore, players like Vincent Brown and Griff Whalen have both played at the NFL level before and will be competing in training camp as well. There are three undrafted rookies looking to make a positive impression. And then there's one player who was on the team's practice squad for all of last season and hopes that, this year, he can make it to the active roster.
We're talking about Ryan Lankford, who was initially signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dolphins last offseason. He played collegiately at Illinois, where in 43 career games he caught 70 passes for 1,014 yards and seven touchdowns. The Dolphins waived him just a few days after signing him, however, and that led to the Colts picking him up shortly after that. Lankford worked with the team in offseason workouts and all throughout training camp and the preseason, but he was waived as a part of the final roster cutdowns. The Colts signed him to their practice squad shortly before the season started, though, and he stuck around for the rest of the year. Earlier this year, the Colts signed him to a reserve/futures contract.
To be honest, Ryan Lankford faces a very tough task in trying to make the Colts' 53-man roster this year. With Hilton, Johnson, Moncrief, and Dorsett, that likely leaves just one or two spots open, and Duron Carter seems to have the edge at one of those spots. For Lankford to play his way on to the roster is going to take one heck of a camp and preseason, and it's a significant uphill battle for the second year wideout. It's more likely that he'll be auditioning to impress some team - enough so to get a shot somewhere else. That's the unfortunate reality for some of the younger players who are likely to be left out of the mix at the wide receiver position simply because of the talent ahead of them, and it looks as if Lankford might fall into that category for the second straight year in 2015.