The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver position went from one of the deeper positional groups to one of the most scarce and it hurt any chance of winning in 2021.
The Colts featured one receiver that had more than 1,000 receiving yards, Michael Pittman Jr. The next best wide receiver had just 384 yards, nearly 700 less.
The Indianapolis roster features mostly little-known players. The 2021 roster ended up with Michael Pittman Jr., Zach Pascal, T.Y. Hilton, Ashton Dulin, Parris Campbell, Mike Strachan, Dezmon Patmon, and Keke Coutee.
There was a lot of hype surrounding the rookie, Strachan. When the season came around, he didn’t really play much. He saw just three targets through the first two weeks and none after that. In fact, he suited up just seven times this season.
Campbell, once again, ended up on the injury list most of the season. This could likely be the end of Parris in a Colts uniform. Even T.Y. had a lot of hype heading into this season but ended up being underwhelming.
WR Positional Grade: D+
Upgrading Via Free Agency
With Hilton and Pascal being unrestricted free agents and Dulin being a restricted free agent, the Colts could have an entirely different room next season. This is a year where the team could flip the entire position group for the better.
Key Players that are Free Agents:
- Allen Robinson (28), CHI
- Chris Godwin (25), TB
- Devonte Adams (29), GB
- Will Fuller (28), MIA
- JuJu Smith-Schuster (25), PIT
- AJ Green (33), ARI
- DJ Chark (25), JAX
- Michael Gallup (25), DAL
- Zay Jones (26), LV
Getting a veteran wide receiver might not be ideal, even with this group of free agents. In the past, it has not worked out for the Colts. Indianapolis has signed older veterans like Andre Johnson or Darius Heyward-Bay and seen them do nothing on the Colts roster.
If Chris Ballard strikes anywhere in free agency, you take the shot at a younger stud veteran like Godwin. The Colts need a true WR1 to pair with Pittman to really compete and give the quarterback a shot at making plays.
It would make sense for Indianapolis to sign at least one free agent wide receiver this offseason.
Upgrading Via the NFL Draft
Another year and another deep class of wide receivers. The Colts are drafting with the 47th pick in the draft and according to CBS, Purdue standout David Bell is currently ranked 45.
Additionally, George Pickens (47) and Justyn Ross (54) are others that could be on the board when the Colts draft in the second round.
If Bell is on the board when the Colts pick, he should be the obvious selection. If he is not selected, all of the Colts fan base might actually revolt against Ballard and Frank Reich.
Next to David Bell, Indianapolis should look at George Pickens, who could be a standout on the Indianapolis roster. Both Bell and Pickens would fit this roster and improve a much-needed positional group.
Next year, the wide receiver room could include Godwin, Pittman, and Bell. If this does happen, the Colts could be a legitimate contender in the AFC.