While the Indianapolis Colts may not have had the most exciting draft this year, they did get a very intriguing wide receiver out of Ole Miss in Donte Moncrief.
Moncrief was taken by the Colts with the No. 90 overall pick in the third round and was the second player taken by Indianapolis over the weekend after Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. Wide receiver wasn't a pressing need right now, but with how many talented prospects there were in this year's draft at the position, general manager Ryan Grigson couldn't pass up on Moncrief.
Some fans may have been upset the Colts didn't draft a player at a position where they needed more help, but Moncrief presents a long-term option at the position. Hakeem Nicks was signed this offseason, but he's on a one-year deal and could be gone after 2014. Meanwhile, Reggie Wayne is 35 years old, coming off a torn ACL and on the final year of his contract.
While he may not make an immediate impact, Moncrief could be a major asset down the road.
Unlike so many receivers Colts fans have seen over the years, Moncrief actually has great size at the position at 6'2'' and 221 pounds. He's used that size to his advantage over the past few years at Ole Miss, putting up 2,371 yards and 20 touchdowns on 156 receptions over the past three years.
|Donte Moncrief College Stats|
Size isn't the only thing that makes Moncrief such an interesting prospect at the next level. The former Ole Miss receiver also does a nice job accelerating to top speed off the line while using body control to position himself to make the catch.
One of the things that stands out when watching Moncrief that will make offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton very happy is the receiver's willingness to block. Whether it was during run plays or bubble screens, Moncrief never seemed afraid to get chippy with opposing defensive backs, and that helped open up running lanes on a consistent basis.
Moncrief wasn't perfect at Ole Miss, rounding out routes and struggling at times with 50-50 balls despite his size. His production wasn't as impressive as it could have been, but a lot of that was on his quarterback, Bo Wallace, who struggled throwing with consistent accuracy.
Fortunately for Moncrief, he won't have to worry as much about that with Andrew Luck throwing him passes.
With his skill set and size, Moncrief is the ultimate vertical threat, and he showed that multiple times last season. Let's take a look at one of those explosive plays against the Auburn Tigers.
In the third quarter, the Rebels were using "jet" personnel, or four wide receivers with one running back in the backfield. Moncrief was lined up on the outside in the Spread 31 Right formation (three receivers on the left, one on the right and the running back to the right of the quarterback).
On this play, Moncrief is running a deep post towards the end zone. The route isn't the sharpest one, but he's able to adjust once the ball is in the air and makes the impressive catch for the touchdown. You can see the video of the play below at the 3:15 mark.
That wasn't the only big play Moncrief made in the game. He finished with 122 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions against the SEC champions, and that was one of five games this past season where he had at least 100 receiving yards.
Overall, Moncrief has a unique set of skills that should help him stand out from the other receivers on the depth chart, and while he may not see the field a ton in his rookie season if everyone stays healthy, Colts fans should prepare to hear his name called quite often down the road.