When the Colts signed Kamar Aiken, most people thought that it was bad news for Phillip Dorsett when it comes to the number three wide receiver role, but it’s possible that Aiken could push for an even larger role.
After signing with the Colts Aiken said, “I was told there is going to be open competition basically in our receiver room,” which seemed to suggest he’ll be competing for a starting spot. And then last week, Chris Ballard explained that not only is Aiken competition for Dorsett but also for Donte Moncrief too.
“[He’s] a bigger receiver, a great guy, great teammate, tough, will do the dirty work,” Ballard said, according to Colts.com’s Kevin Bowen. “We thought he was just a really good fit to add competition to the group, and he will do that. He’s a great pro. We think Kamar’s got a lot of upside. We added competition, but it’s not just competition for Phillip. It’s competition for Moncrief also.”
That makes sense, as Aiken’s game is better-suited to push Moncrief anyway rather than Dorsett, who can still have a role as a deep threat wideout. So we will have to pay attention to how Donte Moncrief’s role is affected by the signing of Kamar Aiken, too.
It’s a big year for Moncrief, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Colts. He’s been a very good red zone threat for the Colts, but injuries plagued him last year and prevented him from taking the steps forward that many thought he would. So now he’s going to have competition too, and he’ll have to earn his playing time.
Most likely, the Colts will find ways to use all of their wideouts, from Donte Moncrief to Kamar Aiken to Phillip Dorsett to Chester Rogers (and of course T.Y. Hilton as the top receiver). So both Moncrief and Aiken figure to get plenty of opportunities, though the number two receiver role could be decided this offseason. Moncrief would likely be the frontrunner at this point, but Aiken is a talented receiver who was a very good pickup this offseason.
“He’s a big, physical guy that can play with the ball in his hands, without the ball in his hands,” Pagano said of Aiken, according to Colts.com. “He will be a force in the run game. He’s not afraid to mix it up. He will do the dirty work. He’s a great pro. He’s a smart, intelligent guy. He understands what it takes day in and day out to become a really good football player. We’ve had some bigger guys, but just not enough of them. He brings a big physical presence to that room.”
Aiken had a breakout season in 2015 with the Ravens but grew frustrated in 2016 as he was buried on the depth chart, so he’s excited for an opportunity to compete in Indianapolis. And while the Colts have T.Y. Hilton already in place and then some other talent in the receiving room, Kamar Aiken won’t just provide competition for guys like Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett, he’ll likely provide a productive target for Andrew Luck in the passing game too regardless of where he winds up on the depth chart.