The 2017 season is going to be a big one for Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief.
He’s entering a contract year, and thus far in his NFL career he hasn’t quite lived up to the high expectations and potential. We’ll have to wait and see how he produces when the season begins, but at least during this week’s mini-camp he’s been very impressive.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Moncrief tweeted, “no lie that was the hardest practice of my life.”
On Wednesday, he made it look easy.
Donte Moncrief has looked really, really good this week.— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) June 14, 2017
T.Y. Hilton watching today, but he is plenty loud cheering for Donte Moncrief making play after play today.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) June 14, 2017
Nice afternoon for Moncrief.
FWIW. Colts Donte Moncrief having monster day at minicamp.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) June 14, 2017
And the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder also wrote about Moncrief’s great day, saying that the receiver made a great leaping catch by his fingertips but landed just out of bounds - but even though he was slightly out of bounds, he made up for it.
Moncrief would make up for that disappointment with a dazzling performance in camp on Wednesday, perhaps establishing himself as the best player on the field. He caught three touchdowns in various portions of practice, including a sure-handed grab on a hard slant in traffic moments after the catch that was ruled out of bounds. There also was his leaping, toe-tapping touchdown on a fade from quarterback Scott Tolzien in the corner of the end zone. Moncrief took the ball away from Rashaan Melvin on the play despite Melvin’s excellent position.
Most notable was Moncrief’s reliable hands. On a day when players like Jack Doyle and Josh Ferguson struggled with drops, Moncrief caught everything thrown his way.
It’s great that Moncrief really impressed at mini-camp, even if it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll have a great season. We always must be careful not to put too much stock into offseason performance, but you’d much rather a player impress in the offseason than disappoint.
Moncrief has produced in his three seasons in the NFL, catching 126 passes for 1,484 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 11.8 yards per catch, but he hasn’t quite put it all together in reaching his potential. He had a good sophomore season in which he caught 64 passes for 733 yards and six scores despite playing over half of the season without Andrew Luck, but then in 2016 he had an injury-plagued campaign and caught 30 passes for 307 yards and seven touchdowns. His production in the red zone and as a touchdown threat has been very evident, but he’s very talented and has the potential of being a well-rounded receiver between the 20s too. That’s what the Colts are hoping to see from him in 2017, as they’re hoping he can reach that potential. Hopefully his performance in mini-camp translates to the season and he continues to impress.