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Taking a pre-draft look at the Colts’ wide receiver position

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Though the wide receiver position isn’t really considered a need for the Indianapolis Colts, it will still be a very interesting group to keep an eye on this offseason.

Obviously at the top of the depth chart is T.Y. Hilton, who is coming off of his best career season after leading the NFL in receiving yards in 2016. But after Hilton, there’s not yet a clear order among the wideouts on the depth chart.

Donte Moncrief figures to be the frontrunner for the number two wideout spot, and he’s a very talented player who has become a red zone threat for Indianapolis. Last year, however, it was thought that he would take more steps forward than he did in a season plagued by injuries. He’s entering a contract year, and the Colts brought in Kamar Aiken to compete with both him and Phillip Dorsett.

Speaking of Dorsett, this is also a big year for him too. Though he’s not on a contract year, the Colts do have a new GM in Chris Ballard who might not be as tied to the former first round pick as the previous regime. Dorsett has proven to be a capable deep threat, but hasn’t developed into much more than that. So Aiken will also be competing with Dorsett for time.

Aiken was the one free agent signing that the Colts made at the position this offseason, and it was a good one. Aiken has produced in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, though he felt like last year he was unfairly buried on the depth chart. With the Colts, he should have plenty of chances to prove himself while catching passes from Andrew Luck.

So it will be quite interesting to watch how the wide receiver competition plays out this offseason - and added to the players mentioned above is Chester Rogers, who impressed as an undrafted rookie last year and is a potential breakout candidate this year. So what the Colts have is T.Y. Hilton and then a bunch of capable players who will be competing for time. It’s likely that Moncrief and Aiken will be the number two and three receivers, while Rogers should push Dorsett for playing time with Dorsett still having a role as a deep threat.

Heading into the draft, however, this position isn’t really considered a need. Wide receiver is one of those positions that teams might always use a mid-to-late round pick on in any given draft regardless of need, so it shouldn’t be completely ruled out for the Colts. But it’s not a need, and therefore I wouldn’t really expect the Colts to make many moves at the position, outside of a couple of rookie free agent signings.