Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson selected receiver Donte Moncief in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft. The Colts needed to add pass catching depth this offseason and they did just that by signing free agent wideout Hakeem Nicks and drafting Moncrief with the 90th over selection.
The talent pool at the wide receiver position was considered one of the deepest in years and the Colts certainly got a solid value pick with the 6’2 221 pound split end from Ole Miss. Finding great value in a draft selection is the game plan, but that doesn’t alway equate to automatic success at the next level. Moncrief has outstanding measurables, but some pundits think his great attributes don’t always transfer to the football field often enough.
As a sophomore in 2012, Moncrief caught 66 balls for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns. He followed that up last season with 59 receptions for 938 yards and six scores. Even though Moncrief saw plenty of playing time in his three years at Ole Miss, he still has some rough edges and rawness wrapped up in all of his extreme potential and talent. Had Moncrief returned to school for his senior year, his 2015 draft stock could’ve been sky high.
Moncrief is a big play threat on the perimeter and there aren’t many receivers as dangerous when the football is in the air. Moncrief has great vertical leaping ability and can high point the football ball in tight coverage. For a big receiver, he flashes good explosiveness and 4.40 speed. Moncrief is dangerous in space, but doesn’t have the wiggle to constantly get loose after the catch on shorter routes.
If Moncrief wants to be a star in the NFL, he will need to prove he’s not a one trick pony. Polishing his route running and establishing himself as a possession receiver that can consistently move the chains and work the middle of the field will be his biggest challenge.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck excels at getting the ball down field, so Moncrief just might be in the right place at the right time. With veteran receivers like Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks ahead of Moncrief on the depth chart, the Colts can afford to develop him at a slower pace. And who better to learn from than the talented Reggie Wayne?
Moncrief’s rookie year in the NFL will probably not be labeled as a boom or a bust, but it might be safe to expect to see a little of both in 2014.