Outside of T.Y. Hilton, the Colts’ receiving corps is full of unproven players. One or two of them will emerge as dependable targets for Andrew Luck next season, but it’s anyone’s guess who that will be.
Undrafted rookie Steve Ishmael has as good a chance of becoming a number three receiver as he does of getting cut before the season even starts.
He was extremely productive as a senior at Syracuse catching 105 passes for 1,347 yards and 7 touchdowns. Ishmael’s senior year was a breakout season for him considering he had accumulated 1,544 yards receiving in his three previous college seasons.
Ishmael projects to be more of a possession receiver than a deep threat at the next level, which would be a good compliment to T.Y. Hilton’s skill set. He averaged an unspectacular 12.8 yards per reception in 2017, but Ishmael is an experienced route runner and he can play both on the outside and in the slot.
Ishmael has decent size at 6’ 2” and 209 pounds, which actually makes him one of the bigger receivers on the Colts’ roster.
The most likely role for Ishmael as a rookie would be on special teams. Most NFL wide receivers don’t really like to tackle, but he may be asked to play on the kickoff or punt coverage team early on in his career.
The Colts’ coaching staff still has a lot to learn about Ishmael, and they’ll have a good opportunity to take a hard look at him during training camp.
I like Ishmael’s potential as a sure-handed underneath receiver, and I think Frank Reich could carve out a role for him in Indianapolis’ new offense.