T.Y. Hilton boasted via the Colts’ team website yesterday that, “We have three No. 1 wideouts.” While on paper, it’s a convincing argument, it has yet to be determined whether it will actually hold true. Hilton could be in line for a 3rd-year wide receiver break-out campaign, in which he makes his case to be considered among the NFL’s truly elite young wide receivers. He’s reportedly been explosive throughout training camp is learning some of the additional nuances at wideout that come with becoming a veteran in the National Football League. Luck and him had great chemistry in the team’s two playoff games in 2013, so it could be the start of great things to come this season.
Reggie Wayne, at 35, has reportedly looked sharp in limited drills and is ahead of his rehabilitation schedule from ACL surgery. However, running in shorts and a helmet is a lot different than taking physical blows at full-force in pads. While Colts’ fans should remain cautiously optimistic given the glowing reports of Wayne’s recovery, there’s still a chance that we may not see quite the same Reggie of old.
As for Nicks, the Colts’ coaches, including Offensive Coordinator, Pep Hamilton, have claimed that they have “yet to see enough from Hakeem Nicks”. Coming off a season in which he had a career low of 0 TD’s and on a one-year “prove it” deal, Nicks will likely need to pick up the pace in the coming weeks because you can only go off reputation for so long in this league. It’ll be interesting to see if he can re-gain his prior explosiveness. Still, Nicks likely stands as a significant upgrade to last year’s season opening #2 wideout, Darrius Heyward-Bey, if he can prove to run clean routes and consistently make catches.
For me, on name recognition, this group looks great. However, there’s major question marks in 2 out of the 3 alleged “#1 wideouts”. Issues that likely won’t be resolved until Week 1, when he actually get to see them perform on an in-game basis.