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Colts 2016 player preview: Wide receiver Donte Moncrief

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on July 26 with their 90-man roster, which will be cut down to 53 players by the end of the preseason.  To pass the time until camp, we're taking a look at every player on the Colts' 90-man roster.  Today, we're looking at wide receiver Donte Moncrief.

Who is he?

Donte Moncrief (6-2, 222 pounds) enters his third season with the Colts and could be poised for a breakout campaign.  Drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Mississippi, Moncrief had a solid rookie season (32 catches for 444 yards and three touchdowns) that was followed up by an improved sophomore campaign (64 catches for 733 yards and six touchdowns).  Those numbers are despite playing with an injury-plagued Andrew Luck for seven games and without him for nine (if Luck had played all 16 games, Moncrief would have been on pace to top 800 yards and score double-digit touchdowns).  He's a very talented receiver who proved to be a reliable threat last year, particularly in the red zone as a touchdown target (Andrew Luck threw a touchdown to Moncrief in each of the first five games in which the quarterback played last year).

What is his role?

While Moncrief has shown flashes of his talent over the past two seasons, he'll have a much bigger opportunity to do so in 2016.  For the first time, Moncrief is entering the season as the team's number two wide receiver, meaning that he'll see plenty of targets alongside T.Y. Hilton.  The combination of Hilton and Moncrief, plus Phillip Dorsett as the number three, should prove to be a dangerous trio of playmakers, and Moncrief should be right in the middle of the action and should continue to develop into a legitimate threat in the passing game for Andrew Luck.  For the past several seasons the Colts have added a veteran receiver on a one-year deal to play a significant role in the offense, but this year is the first time in the Luck era that the team hasn't done so.  Instead, they're going to rely heavily on their younger players, and that's not necessarily a bad thing when considering the talent at the position.  A lot of the success of that philosophy will depend on Moncrief's play, however, and there's plenty of reason to think he could have a big year in 2016 if he can stay healthy.

What are his chances?

Moncrief's spot on the roster is secure, and he's almost guaranteed to be the number two receiver for the Colts in 2016 as long as he can stay healthy.