Matt Williamson is a former scout for the Cleveland Browns and spent 10 years at ESPN as a scout and co-host of “The Soccer At the moment Podcast.”
New common supervisor Chris Ballard has his work minimize out for him to construct this roster to the place it must be, however he does have two foundational items in place in Luck and Hilton.
Although Luck is coming off one of the best season of his profession, Hilton was merely excellent in 2016 and actually has been a constant drive for the Colts since getting into the NFL. Final yr he racked up ninety one catches for 1,448 yards, each profession highs. That was Hilton’s fourth straight 1,000-yard season.
Within the 2014 and 2016 seasons, when Luck was wholesome, Hilton averaged over ninety receiving yards per recreation. And he was principally the complete Colts passing assault final yr.
Hilton’s velocity is the very first thing that stands out; he can run with any participant within the league. However Hilton additionally possesses unbelievable acceleration and explosion. He is a superb deep menace, however he does not run as many go routes as you may anticipate. A few of that certainly has to do with the Colts’ move safety points over the previous few years, however it additionally signifies that Hilton is way extra nicely-rounded than you may assume.
Hilton is clearly small in comparison with the remainder of the league. Nevertheless, he performs greater than his peak and weight would point out and has actually improved in contested ball conditions. Hilton can also be extremely aggressive preventing for the ball within the air, however is not fairly as positive-handed as Indianapolis would really like.
(Photograph courtesy: Getty Pictures)
Hilton can also be a developed route runner and realizes that opposing cowl males worry his velocity, however his lateral quickness and agility can also be prime notch. Subsequently, Hilton has actually become a superb runner of routes like comebacks and hitches on the intermediate ranges. He persistently positive factors separation in any respect ranges of the sector.
Hilton additionally aligns everywhere in the formation, together with numerous time within the slot, in Indianapolis’ offense. He has additionally solely missed two video games in his profession. The Colts clearly perceive Hilton’s nice worth and have him locked up by means of 2020.
The time period “No. 1 vast receiver” will get thrown round too liberally. There definitely will not be 32 No. 1 receivers. Not each group has one – and a lot of the league’s true No. 1s are within the Julio Jones/Dez Bryant prototypical mould. Smaller vast receivers like Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown should be particular gamers to make up for what they lack in measurement and physicality.
Hilton is not fairly on Beckham and Brown’s degree, however there isn’t any denying that he’s a No. 1 receiver. And at age 27 and coming off his greatest marketing campaign, assuming Luck is able to go to start out the season, Hilton’s greatest may nonetheless be but to return.