With Minicamp wrapping up in Indianapolis, a pair of young wide receivers have stolen the show. Donte Moncrief and Chester Rogers are both entering the 2017-2018 season with a chip on their shoulders, and each have proved it with an impressive minicamp.
Chester Rogers was a dark horse to make the team in 2016 after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State. However, after an impressive training camp and preseason, Rogers not only made the 53-man roster but went on to play in 14 games and even started two of them. Rogers was already battling Phillip Dorsett for the number three wideout position, and with the offseason addition of Kamar Aiken the competition for the spot has been raised to a whole new level.
Chud is really encouraged by what Chester Rogers has done. Biggest difference is his mental grasp on the game. Really growing. #Colts
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) June 14, 2017
On top of battling for depth chart position at WR, Rogers is also looking to solidify himself as a premier return man for the Colts. With Quan Bray missing time last season due to injury, Rogers returned 13 punts– averaging 9.2 yards per return with a long of 30 yards. With the impressive reps in OTA’s Rogers has caught the attention of offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who had nothing but positive things to say about the second year wideout.
“He’s a tough kid, competitor, wants the ball. I think the biggest thing in his growth, what I’ve seen out of him at least this spring, is his understanding of things. He’s slowed down, played a little more under control in that way — not slowed down his speed, but as far as his mind the game’s slowed down a little bit for him where he’s intentionally doing the things he does. He’s seeing things better, whereas last year he was running around like crazy. Right now I think he’s understanding and getting things better and you see the progression you would expect out of a second-year player.” -Chudzinski on Rogers’ progression from year one to year two.
Donte Moncrief also got high praise from the coaches for his minicamp performance. Unlike Rogers, Moncrief had the relief of entering this season knowing where he stood with the team. Just as last season, Moncrief is entering as the number two wide receiver for the Colts. Although there is no competition to be heard of for TY Hilton’s number one spot, Moncrief is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Moncrief has already proven how important he is to the team as he had the highest wide receiver touchdown percentage per target of any player in the league with a minimum of 50 targets.
— George Bremer (@gmbremer) June 14, 2017
According to Pro Football Focus, Moncrief hauled in a TD on 12.9% of his targeted passes in 2016 (minimum 50 targets). Moncrief has not only caught the eye of his coaches but also his GM, the man who will be responsible for determining what his future with the team shall be.
General Manager Chris Ballard had this to say about Moncrief; “I thought Donte Moncrief had an outstanding, outstanding offseason. I want to see it continue into camp and into the season, but we think he’s got great upside and I really appreciate the way he’s worked.”
Stay tuned to Blue HQ on Facebook and Twitter all offseason, as we will bring you more in-depth content as the Colts prepare for the 2017 season.