How T.Y. Hilton can Improve in 2017

 

Of all the receivers in the NFL, it was often overlooked Colts receiver T.Y Hilton who led the league in receiving in 2016. His stat line was an impressive 91 catches, 1448 yards, and 6 touchdowns.  T.Y. also led the league in first down conversions, and 20 + yard receptions.  However there 2 main areas of improvement I see for Hilton as he enters year 6 as Andrew Lucks go to receiver.

1. Red zone td efficiency.
Due to his size, Hilton has never been a touchdown machine, especially as the offense gets into the redzone. At this point, the playcalls must get creative, and T.Y. must use his quickness off the line to great separation in limited space.  T.Y. and the playcallers have struggled in this area.  In 2016, Hilton only hauled in 13 red zone receptions and only 2 went for touchdowns.  The elite receivers in the league have a much better usage rating here, and this is where T.Y. must continue to improve.
2. 3rd down routes.
Let’s make it clear, T.Y. Is a great route runner.  However, there were multiple occasions in 2016 where for whatever reason, Hilton seemed to catch the ball a yard short, and not pick up the first down.  In clutch situations, the Colts need T.Y. to pick those up and move the chains. He needs to make his cuts quicker, and become just a bit more aware of the yardage markers, and where he needs to be when Luck throws the ball.  This is a very nitpicking type of area, but this is something I see Antonio Brown do seemingly every week.  T.Y. has incredible awareness along the sidelines, but to improve even more, he must get better across the middle on 3rd down.
It’s hard to come up with areas to improve for the league’s leading wide receiver, but Hilton’s desire to become great led me to diving deeper into where he can make improvement.  With a minor tweaking, Hilton will take his game to an even higher level, and it will be fun for Colts fans to watch.