(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
One of the biggest battles in Indianapolis is who will emerge as the No. 3 wide receiver for the Colts. As of early June, the competition is between Pierre Garcon, Roy Hall, and rookie Austin Collie.
The winner of this competition should be placed in this position of the slot receiver rankings. From my observations, I believe Garcon will win the job.
Although Garcon played at a D-III college for Mount Union, the Colts liked him enough to draft him in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
He played almost exclusively as a return specialist his rookie year, but he did contribute a modest three receptions for 21 yards in the final regular season game against the Tennessee Titans.
Garcon did exhibit play-making ability on special teams and general manager Bill Polian has said publicly that he expects him to make a giant leap in his second year.
While Roy Hall has the best size of the group at 6’3" and 240 pounds, he has been unable to stay healthy since being acquired in 2007. Shoulder and knee injuries have limited him to just seven games the past two seasons.
Hall also has tremendous speed to go along with his size, so he may in fact have the most potential of the three competing for this role. However, he needs to prove that he can be durable at the NFL level.
As for Collie, he had a terrific college career at BYU and is the school’s all-team leading receiver. He has very good size at 6’2" and 206 pounds. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for with his quickness and excellent field awareness.
I think Collie is a perfect fit in the Colts offense. Quarterback Peyton Manning demands that his receivers are smart and capable of making adjustments to route running.
Collie has demonstrated at the college level that he is adept at altering his routes in order to help his quarterback.
The biggest obstacle for Collie is making the adjustment to the NFL level, and being certain that he understands the playbook and all the audibles Manning likes to call at the line of scrimmage.
It is a complex scheme, and it often takes wide receivers a year or two to understand all the nuances of the system.
In summary, I really like Roy Hall‘s size and speed combination, but it is yet to be determined if he can stay healthy.
Austin Collie could potentially be a future star for the Colts, but will likely need a learning adjustment period in 2009.
This could leave the starting slot receiver job to talented Pierre Garcon, who is a favorite of GM Bill Polian.
Whomever wins the job should be an important piece to Indianapolis’ potent passing attack.