The Indianapolis Colts have selected Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief with the 90th pick in the NFL Draft.
Moncrief had 59 receptions for 938 yards and six touchdowns in 2013. And he did it in the SEC.
He is a big, physical wide receiver measuring in at 6-2 and 221-pounds. He also recorded a 4.4 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine. At times, Moncrief flashed first round level abilities but never took over games like his size and athleticism would suggest.
He has a tremendous upside and could develop into a primary receiving threat. Moncrief is a definite vertical threat and can take the top off a defense.
He has average ball skills and sometimes makes catches more difficult than they should be. Sometimes his timing is off on jump balls, but he has the athleticism to compensate. Moncrief is solid after the catch, but more of a deep threat than a run-after-the-catch sort of player.
He needs to work on the subtleties of route running, something that Reggie Wayne would be more than able to teach him. He is able to create good separation, but doesn’t always pace himself and can end up over-running routes.
Moncrief is also a solid run blocker and what he lacks in ability he makes up for in effort. There is plenty of room for improvement, which will be needed since the Colts are apparently a run first team.
The good news for Moncrief is that he won’t have to contribute right away. With TY Hilton, Wayne, and Hakeem Nicks ahead of him on the depth chart, Moncrief will be able to develop his skills and become more familiar with Andrew Luck.
This is a great value pick as well. The Colts didn’t reach on Moncrief and with Nicks only signing a one-year deal, this will provide insurance should Nicks leave next year.
The Colts also don’t know what they will get from Wayne, who is coming off an ACL injury. Wayne is nearing retirement age and the Colts need to plan for his replacement. Let’s not forget that Wayne is also in the final year of his contract and might not return to his team in 2015.
Moncrief fills a need that will likely be a bigger issue in 2015 than this season. He has all the tools to develop into an outstanding receiver and no pressure to do it right away.