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The key for Hilton and the Colts’ offense now is to put together a second straight week of big plays.
If the Colts went with Lamp, as previously mentioned, he would become the team’s second straight offensive lineman selected in the first round, joining center Ryan Kelly, who was picked 18th overall in 2016 and went on to start all 16 games in a solid rookie season.
“Coming into a position that is very difficult to play as a rookie in this league and in a system where a lot is demanded out of him with a quarterback that is always pushing the envelope in terms of those things as well. I can’t say that enough, what a great job he has done. There are a lot of things that you want to Indianapolis Colts jersey china clean up as a coach but if you look at the big picture, I think he has come in and done everything that we would ask him to do.”
Perhaps the best place for a guy like Lamp in Indy would be at right guard, where the team has quite a few candidates, as well as at right tackle, hoping to secure a starting job in 2017. One might believe Joe Haeg, who stood out as a rookie, starting 14 games at guard and tackle for the Colts in 2016, would be an early front runner for one of those two spots, while the other remains wide open.
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“Rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines has to be a priority for the Colts,” McShay wrote. “Edge rushers such as Takkarist McKinley or Charles Harris could make sense here, but Lamp is the best all-around offensive lineman in this draft. He played left tackle in college, but projects as a guard in the NFL. Flip on his tape against Alabama. This kid is for real.”
But come Sunday night, as he took a slant pass 63 yards to the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the Indianapolis Colts’ 26-22 victory over the San Diego Chargers, Hilton certainly looked like the two-time Pro Bowler and No. 1 receiver fans have come to love over the years.
Hilton says he put last week’s game “on me,” knowing that for the next month or so, even with coverages more prevalent his way, plays must be made.
What the Colts are missing now in Moncrief is a guy that can use his 6-2 frame over the middle of the field, in the red zone on fade patterns and over the top of underneath coverage.
2006 NFL Super Bowl XLI Indianapolis Colts Championship Ring
“They look for me to make big plays, and I wasn’t doing that the first two games, and I told them, ‘I’m going to be the difference-maker today,’” Hilton said after the game. “I said earlier in the week, ‘I want to put it on me, put the game on me,’ and that’s what I did today.
Hilton’s first two games produced just 10 total catches for 120 yards and no scores. Worst yet, the Colts lost both weeks to the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, when they really could’ve used an extra spark or two from one of their top offensive threats throughout the game to get over the hump.
The key for Hilton and the Colts’ offense now is to put together a second straight week of big plays. The unit looked extremely sharp for the entire second half of the Lions game, but often fell flat the next week on the road against Denver.
Indianapolis opens divisional play next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, and going into the game with a win and a 1-2 record certainly leaves a much better taste in the team’s mouth than 0-3 and all the gloom and doom that goes with it.