The Indianapolis Colts have the chance to completely seize control of the AFC South this offseason.
While they need to figure out what they’re going to do at the quarterback position, their cap space and depth on both sides of the ball make Frank Reich’s squad one of the most lethal in the NFL.
One of the main ways that Chris Ballard has been able to keep this team competitive over the last few years is exceptional drafting, as he has been able to make up for a relative lack of star power by adding replacements at several key positions for pennies on the dollar.
That philosophy has the Colts in line for a huge 2021 season, as several draftees from prior seasons could be in line for some breakout campaigns in 2020.
With a Marcus Brady-led offense ready to revitalize the passing game and a Matt Eberflus defense once again projected to number among the NFL’s elite, the sky is the limit for the Colts’ stable of young talent.
While some of the usual suspects like Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner will likely be in the Pro Bowl hunt once again, these three Colts might end up getting their first-ever Pro Bowl designation in their young careers.
These 3 Indianapolis Colts players might be Pro Bowlers in 2021
No. 3: WR Michael Pittman Jr.
The Colts used the second pick of the second round last year to acquire Pittman, who is the son of one of the best running backs in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history. While Pittman, a 6-4 possession receiver who dominated at USC, figured to be a physical component in a generally small wide receiver corps, he might have to go from role player to featured option in Year 2.
With TY Hilton likely to test the free-agent market and Zach Pascal suddenly standing out as the most experienced Colts receiver, Pittman could be in for a huge increase in volume thanks to the sudden dearth of depth at wide receiver.
Pittman could become the Colts’ No. 1 wide receiver in 2021
Pittman, who caught 40 passes for 503 yards and one touchdown last season, fell out of the first round due to questions about his speed. However, he proved last year that he is more than capable of becoming a lethal downfield threat and possession receiver on third down. Even with whatever was left of Philip Rivers, Pittman was productive.
Now that Reich will get his hands on a quarterback that can open up the playbook just a bit more than Rivers could, Indy might be more inclined to take to the air, which could give Pittman a higher volume of targets than he received as a rookie. With the potential to lead the team in targets in a much-improved passing game, big things could be in store for Pittman in 2021.