Moncrief's position coach Sanjay Lal echoed that sentiment, telling the Indianapolis Star Tuesday that the wide receiver has all the tools to reach that level. Lal is in his first year with the franchise, after coming over this offseason from the Buffalo Bills.
"I don't know how he was coached, what was demanded of him in the past," Lal told the Star. "All I know is with me, it's a blank slate. And I see a piece of clay that can be one of the better receivers in the league. He has all the tools."
The Colts took Moncrief in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Since then he has 126 catches for 1,484 yards and 16 touchdowns in 41 games. Moncrief secured just 64 of his 105 targets in 2015 for 733 yards and six scores. Last season he had 307 yards and seven scores in nine games.
"Donte can be very special," Hilton said of Moncrief. "We know the injuries lingered on for him last year. But he has the potential to be great."
"It's a contract year. That should say a lot. If you want that money, go ahead and go get it."
Hilton also said the offseason signing of Kamar Aiken should push Moncrief to work even harder.
"They know what the signing of Kamar means," Hilton told Colts.com.
"I'm going to push them. In the weight room, on the field, just continue to get better, whether it's texts, making sure they're studying, making sure they are on point, on cue, to come in here and compete."
The Colts lost tight end Dwayne Allen in free agency this offseason to the New England Patriots, but Andrew Luck still has plenty of weapons at his disposal. Aside from Hilton, Moncrief and Aiken, the team has Phillip Dorsett, Quan Bray, Chester Rogers and others on its depth chart.
Indianapolis has not had two pass catchers with at least 1,000 yards in the same season since Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne did it in 2009. The franchise hasn't had two wide receivers accomplish that feat since Wayne did it with Marvin Harrison in 2006. Peyton Manning was the quarterback for both of those occasions. The Colts won the Super Bowl during the 2006 season and Manning won NFL MVP for his 2009 effort.