Colts: Does Zach Pascal not get enough credit for his contributions?
By Jerry Trotta
During free agency, Indianapolis Colts fans were hoping the front office would equip new quarterback Carson Wentz with a premium wide receiver.
Despite having the requisite cap space to make a move of that magnitude, however, the Colts opted to re-sign TY Hilton and run it back with the same unit as last season.
If you view things as a glass half full (as opposed to half empty), you can look at the return of Parris Campbell, who has the potential to be a dominant slot WR, but was limited to just two games last season due to knee surgery, as a separate addition for the Colts.
In any event, between Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal and Campbell, Indy should have enough talent at the position to reach their goals in 2021. However, we can’t wrap our minds around why Pascal is often considered the fourth-best player of the bunch.
In a list that finally gave Pascal the recognition he deserves, Touchdown Wire ranked the underrated Colts receiver as the eighth-best slot wideout in the league.
Why doesn’t Zach Pascal get enough credit for his contributions?
Here’s what Doug Farrar, who formulated the list, had to say about Pascal and why he doesn’t receive as much praise as other players at his position.
"“Pascal is probably the least-known receiver on this list, but he caught 33 of 48 slot targets for 397 yards and five touchdowns with a quarterback in Philip Rivers who was clearly at the end of the road. Not that the Redemption Edition of Carson Wentz gives Pascal more explosive opportunities, but the third-year man from Old Dominion has the route and leverage understanding to drive slot defenders nuts, and that should at least help Wentz along the way.”"
While it might’ve been a stretch to rank Pascal ahead of dynamic playmakers like Chris Godwin, Robert Woods and CeeDee Lamb, Farrar makes a compelling case for the Colts star, who’s recorded 85 catches for 1,236 yards and 10 (!) touchdowns over the last two years.
For context, Pascal’s 10 scores are tied with Hilton for the team lead during that span. He also ranks second in targets and yards per catch (14.5), as well as third in total catches. If that’s the case, then why is the former undrafted talent still lacking in the recognition department?
Well, for starters, Pascal’s been playing in Hilton’s shadows for the last three seasons. That doesn’t help, and the fact the Colts don’t get enough national respect as it is — the likes of DeForest Buckner, Darius Leonard and even Jonathan Taylor have all been in some form this offseason — only bumps Pascal further down the pecking order.
At the end of the day, who cares if this is the only list Pascal appears on before the start of next season? Real Colts fans understand his worth and value him just as much as the other wide receivers on the roster. That should matter more than what the national media thinks.
Still, however, it was nice to see Pascal finally get some credit for his production. The fourth-year pro has stepped up amid injuries over the last two seasons, and he should continue having a prominent role even if the Colts’ injury-prone receiving corps manages to stay healthy.