INDIANAPOLIS —The Indianapolis Colts have proven they aren't afraid to go young at the wide receiver position moving forward.
While T.Y. Hilton is still at the top of his game as he enters his seventh season in the NFL, the remaining spots on the depth chart could very well go to players with, at most, one to two years of professional starting experience.
Or, depending on how things shake out the rest of the offseason and through training camp and the preseason, there's a good chance one or more spots at wide receiver will go to a fresh, young rookie.
The Colts last month found two talented pieces in the draft who could very well find themselves on the depth chart — and receiving valuable reps — this upcoming season in Reece Fountain, a fifth-round pick, and Deon Cain, who was selected in the sixth round.
Both Fountain and Cain had extremely productive college careers, and both bring needed size to the position for Indy.
But looking at Cain, specifically, there's a belief among many — both inside the Colts' facility and out of it — that he could very well blossom into a player that should've been worthy of being selected much higher than 185th overall.
In fact, NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein recently listed Cain among seven "late-round NFL draft picks likely to exceed expectations in 2018."
You can read the entire piece by clicking here, but here's what he had to say about Cain, specifically:
*Deon Cain, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Drafted: Round 6, No. 185 overall out of Clemson.
Analysis: A receiver with Cain's size (6-2, 202), speed (4.43-second 40-yard dash), and pedigree is always a welcome sight for quarterbacks. His draft stock was hampered by concerns about his maturity and drops. His physical tools and ability to uncover on all three levels of the field should not be undersold, though. Cain has an opportunity to impress in camp and find catches as a rookie despite being a sixth-round pick.*
Should Cain ultimately succeed in his quest as a sixth-round draft pick, he'll join an impressive list of recent NFL receivers who also overcame those odds.
One of those players, Pierre Garçon, was a sixth-round pick by the Colts back in 2008, and has gone on to catch 604 passes for 7,568 yards with 37 touchdowns in his 10-year NFL career with the Colts, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. In 2013, Garçon led the league with 113 receptions.
Antonio Brown, meanwhile, was a sixth-round pick back in 2010 and has become arguably the best wide receiver in the league. A six-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro, Brown has logged 733 receptions for 9,910 yards and 59 touchdowns in his eight NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.