The Indianapolis Colts made a somewhat-surprising move when they signed free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey this offseason. After a few disappointing years with the Oakland Raiders, Heyward-Bey looks to revitalize his career with the likes of second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Joining receivers Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, Heyward-Bey has the opportunity to carve out a solid and unique role with the Colts this year. So far during the preseason, Heyward-Bey has been lining up opposite Wayne as the second starting wideout — somewhat puzzling to some.
This has left Hilton, the sophomore, sitting on the bench during two wide receiver sets and only getting on the field when Indy runs three or four wide receiver sets. The fact that many are making Hilton out as a breakout player in 2013 after his impressive seven scores in 2012 is a bit odd to me, especially after looking at what the Colts are doing in the preseason.
Indy has been running more two tight end sets during the preseason, which doesn’t bode well for Hilton. The fact that they also like Heyward-Bey as the second starter gives me reason to believe that Hilton is not consistent enough in their eyes.
That makes sense when you look at his game-by-game stat lines from his rookie season. Hilton had five 100-yard receiving games and five games with 40-yard receptions last year. Hilton also had seven games in which he finished under 40 yards receiving.Only in one of those contests did he score a touchdown. Due to his inconsistency and position on the roster, Hilton’s outlook this year worries me.
Hilton represents a solid choice for potentially a WR3 or maybe a fourth guy to swap in and out depending on bye weeks and injuries for the most part, but if you have him starting every single week you are sure to be disappointed on occasion. Barring an injury to Heyward-Bey or simply a lack of performance on his part, Hilton looks like he is still stuck at number three on the Colts’ depth chart.