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NFL breakout players 2018: Andrew Luck’s return is great news for Colts WR Chester Rogers

Rogers had decent production last season in a subpar Colts offense. With Luck back, he can put his mark on the No. 2 receiver job.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With all the hoopla surrounding Andrew Luck and whether he’ll be able to bounce back into top notch form this year, one of the lesser-talked-about issues is who he will be throwing to.

Of course, the always exciting T.Y. Hilton, with whom Luck has a lot of chemistry, is still in Indianapolis, and with Luck back in the lineup Hilton should almost certainly bounce back from a 2017 season that saw his numbers take a nose dive. Aside from Hilton, the talent around Luck will look quite different from the last time he took a snap in a regular season game.

Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief are both gone. The Colts signed former Washington receiver Ryan Grant this offseason (after he ran into some shenanigans with Baltimore), but he was the only noteworthy free agent addition to their receiver position this spring.

Thankfully, there is a young holdover who will be ready to help shoulder much of the load with Hilton in the passing game this year — Chester Rogers.

Heading into his third season, the 6’1, 184-pound Rogers, originally an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State in 2016, has shown steady improvement.

Rogers is ready to really burst onto the scene this year after a respectable 2017.

Rogers wasn’t even active for the first five games last season while dealing with a hamstring injury. He didn’t have a reception until the seventh game of the year. However, he still managed to haul in 23 catches for 284 yards and a touchdown in 11 games, and he ended up starting the last four games of the year. Mind you, he put up those stats with Jacoby Brissett, who, let’s just say, was a clear downgrade from Luck at quarterback.

Watching his film, Rogers looked really good running his routes, especially when the Colts lined him up in the slot. He also seemed to have a really good feel for where the holes are in zone coverage. He showed good speed and looked really smooth and polished in every thing he did. Knowing when to accelerate to push away from a defender and also when to throttle it on crossing routes can be the difference between making a catch and getting blasted out of your cleats. Rogers appeared to understand that well.

He just looks to be a quality all-around receiver who played consistently when he was afforded opportunities to get in the game. If he can stay healthy for a full season, even if he doesn’t wrest a starting position from Grant, his numbers should really make a leap with Luck back in the lineup.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Rogers ends up being the No. 2 receiver this season. And maybe for the foreseeable future.

Confidence level: Moderate