Despite some more pressing needs at other positions and only having five picks in May’s draft, the Indianapolis Colts used a third-round pick (90th overall) on wide receiver Donte Moncrief in an effort to add some more young talent around quarterback Andrew Luck. Moncrief looks unlikely to have a big immediate role, but if injuries hit the Colts’ receiving corp his fantasy value would rise quickly.
Moncrief is a big (6’2″, 221 lbs.) and fast (4.40 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) receiver, and he had a productive three-year run at Ole Miss with 156 receptions for 2,371 yards and 20 touchdowns. Greg Cosell of NFL Films compared Moncrief to Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas prior the draft. That’s obviously lofty praise, but it does point to his potential.
Reggie Wayne is working his way back from a torn ACL as he enters the final year of his contract, while Hakeem Nicks was signed to a one-year deal this offseason and brings durability concerns. Moncrief has work to do to earn a prominent role, but his path to playing time at some point during the season may not be as blocked as it initially seems.
Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and Nicks are clearly the Colts’ top three wide receivers, barring significant injury. Moncrief is basically a lock to be on the 53-man roster heading into Week 1, but he will have plenty of competition for a roster spot and role during training camp (LaVon Brazill, Da’Rick Rodgers and Griff Whalen).
Moncrief is young for a rookie (21 on Aug. 6), and he’s not considered a polished receiver in terms of route running and catching the ball with his hands more consistently.
Moncrief is a solid prospect in dynasty leagues, and an underrated stash in that format with the prospect of a starting job right out of the gate in 2015. Unless Wayne struggles to be at full strength coming off the first major injury of his career and Nicks vastly underachieves again, fantasy owners should not expect a lot from Moncrief this year.
Bye Week: Week 10