One of the most talked about issues with the Indianapolis Colts as they move into the 2018 season is the team’s perceived lack of playmakers. Specifically at the wide receiver position, largely the Colts are getting credit for T.Y. Hilton and that’s about it.
Most anyone who even casually follows the team knows about some of the supporting cast from the receiver corps, such as Chester Rogers and now Ryan Grant, while there’s been some buzz about the Colts’ drafted rookies in Deon Cain and Reece Fountain as well. Grant and the two rookies are somewhat unknowns at this point, but at the very least the potential is evident.
A couple names who have been flying under the radar, though, are Krishawn Hogan and K.J. Brent.
Hogan, who was called up to the active roster last year before being lost for the year after tearing his ACL, has the rare combination of speed and length that the Colts are looking for to feature on the roster. Brent also offers similar traits (both stand 6-3), was also brought up to the active roster late in the 2017 season, and has found himself in that interesting situation in which he’s being noticed by the Colts’ new coaching staff in mini camp.
Any time the coaching staff calls out specific players by name — and unprompted — it deserves to be paid attention to, and Tuesday the Colts’ new OC mentioned Brent as someone who’s catching his eye.
“We drafted two young guys. T.Y. Hilton is a known player in this league who has made a lot of plays and I’ve been really impressed with some of the other receivers down the line too. Chester Rogers has really caught my eye and K.J. (Brent) and Ryan Grant.”
Brent was signed as an UDFA after the 2016 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders and bounced back and forth with them for better than a year as most young undrafted guys do — from being signed to the practice squad, waived, back to the practice squad and so on. He was signed briefly by the Seattle Seahawks and then by the Colts in late October of last year.
One point of notice about the Colts receivers is that only Hilton is under 6-0, and nine of the 13 currently on the roster are at least 200 pounds. Kasen Williams and Steve Ishmael are hot names as well to keep an eye on as summer nears, and Sirianni really likes the group that he has at his disposal — and sees a lot of promise from the running back group as well.
“These backs I feel like are playmakers. I love the group that we have, I really do. I think it is a good group. I see a lot of similarities to some of the other offenses that we have been around as far as playmakers. I really feel like we have a lot of playmakers on this team.”
Look, the Colts aren’t a finished product, and a lot of what the team is right now is projection. However, if you consider having Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Hilton, Eric Ebron, Rogers, any of these under-the-radar receivers if they hit their stride, just one of either Fountain or Cain breaking out with Andrew Luck and an improved offensive line — then I think you’ve got to understand why Sirianni likes what he’s working with.