Colts: This local star could be perfect Day 2 pick in 2022 draft
By Jerry Trotta
The Indianapolis Colts‘ need for a second receiving option behind Michael Pittman Jr. becomes more glaring as the weeks go by.
Through nine games, Pittman has 50 catches for 658 yards and five touchdowns, each of which rank in the top 10 for the season.
The Colts’ second-leading receiver, Zach Pascal, is lagging far behind his teammate in those categories, notching 30 receptions for 319 yards and three TDs.
That’s a huge problem, and you can kind of understand why Carson Wentz has had tunnel vision or Pittman. The second-year stud is really the only pass-catcher who’s getting open consistently. Even when he’s not open, Wentz trusts him to go up and make a play. That’s the tell-tale indicator of a No. 1 WR.
As good as Pittman has been, though, if Indy is serious about getting the most out of Wentz, who’s exceeded expectations in his first year with the team, they need to go out and get him another playmaker this offseason.
Speaking in terms of the draft, its tough to think of a better fit than Purdue star David Bell, who just so happens to be from Indiana.
The Colts need to target Purdue WR David Bell in the 2022 draft.
Bell is widely seen as a second-round prospect. That works out perfectly for the Colts, who will likely be without a first-rounder in next year’s draft assuming Carson Wentz starts the remaining games at quarterback.
Bell has been a star at Purdue for three years now, and he’s ascending up the Heisman Trophy power rankings after his 11-catch, 217-yard performance, which included a TD, in Purdue’s upset win over No. 6 Michigan State on Saturday.
At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Bell is your classic do-it-all receiver. He’s outstanding after the catch, but his most intriguing skill set is his ability to high-point the ball in contested catch situations. In fact, heading into the 2021 campaign, Bell had more contested catches than any Power 5 WR since 2019, per Pro Football Focus.
See what we’re saying? The Colts blew it in the 2019 draft when they selected Parris Campbell over Terry McLaurin, another local kid, who went 18 picks later. McLaurin has established himself as one of the best young wideouts in the league, whereas Campbell has played just 14 games over the last three years.
Speaking of Campbell, it’s highly likely the Colts cut their losses and move on from the former second-rounder in the offseason. Getting beyond him, it’s also possible TY Hilton and Zach Pascal, both free agents, aren’t back in 2022.
In other words, Indy will need a new No. 2 behind Pittman next year. The third spot could be given to an Ashton Dulin, Mike Strachan, or a potential free agent. All of a sudden, you’re looking at a legitimate WR corps.
Come on, Ballard. Don’t make the same mistake you did with McLaurin. Bell is a superstar in the making. Bring him home.