INDIANAPOLIS — In 2015, the Baltimore Ravens needed someone to step up and fill in after their top receiver, Steve Smith, missed more than half the season due to injury.
That someone, it turned out, was Kamar Aiken.
He would go on to log 75 receptions for 944 yards and five touchdowns that season in Baltimore, and proved that he can more-than handle the rigors of being a full-time receiver in the National Football League.
And on Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts showed that they hope to see Aiken pick up right where he left off two seasons ago, announcing that the team had signed the free agent Central Florida product.
Aiken, who stands at 6 foot 1 and 213 pounds, will immediately become a strong option for the Colts and head coach Chuck Pagano as their No. 4 wide receiver, behind T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett.
Aiken showed off his athleticism in the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, when he displayed a 36.5-inch vertical and 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump, but the first few years of his career he spent more as a journeyman, going undrafted and being signed by the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears and New England Patriots from 2011 to 2013, playing in just three games and recording zero catches over that span.
But the Ravens showed they were willing to give the Hollywood, Fla., native a shot in 2014, and he responded to the tune of 24 catches, 267 yards and three touchdowns. Then, the next season, when Smith went down, Aiken would break out, starting 14 games in Baltimore, averaging 12.6 yards per reception and nearly crossing the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the year.
Last season, however, Aiken simply became a victim of circumstance at the wide receiver position for the Ravens, who saw the return of Smith and Breshad Perriman, and also signed Mike Wallace. Aiken would catch 29 passes for 328 yards and one touchdown in 16 games, with six starts, in 2016.
While Aiken seems like an ideal candidate to pencil in as the No. 4 receiver in Indianapolis, he'll certainly have plenty of competition for the spot. Chester Rogers proved he could hang after going undrafted as a rookie last season, catching 19 passes for 273 yards, while Quan Bray should also be in the mix after missing the final 10 games of the season last year with an ankle injury.
Others currently at the wide receiver position for the Colts are veteran Devin Street, as well as Tevaun Smith and Marcus Leak, both of whom impressed as undrafted rookies last offseason but spent much of the year on the practice squad.
The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.