Indianapolis Colts 2013 Breakout Candidate: Darrius Heyward-Bey

By Andrew Fisher
Indianapolis Colts
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts had to acquire a wide receiver this offseason to replace the production from the departed Donnie Avery. After lots of speculation throughout the free agency period, they ultimately inked Darrius Heyward-Bey to a one-year/$2.5 million deal.

Heyward-Bey comes to the Colts after four years with the Oakland Raiders, and the way I look at it, he was lucky to get out before his career went down the toilet. The Raiders are doing their best to improve their quarterback situation, but it pales in comparison to what the Colts have behind center.

Andrew Luck is going to do wonders for Heyward-Bey’s career. Never before has he had a signal caller the caliber of No. 12, and fans should see a big difference in his game early on in 2013. Now of course with any player on a new team, there’s going to be a learning curve. It’s going to take awhile for the WR to memorize the playbook, and just to get used to Luck running the offense. But once they’re on the same page, good things are going to happen.

Playing opposite of Reggie Wayne should provide Heyward-Bey with plenty of one-on-one opportunities, and at 6-2, he’ll be a solid red zone target for Luck. I fully expect the fifth-year WR to put up career-high numbers, which would mean he’d accumulate over 1000 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. Those kind of numbers are realistic for No. 81, but certainly not the ceiling of what he’s capable of.

They say receivers are only as good as their quarterbacks, and I’m predicting fans will see just how much Heyward-Bey was getting held back in Oakland.


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