Chris Ballard and Colts have poor track record drafting receivers

Jan 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Daurice Fountain (10) against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Daurice Fountain (10) against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indianapolis Colts have had bad luck when drafting receivers but they hope to change that in this upcoming NFL Draft.

All signs point to the Indianapolis Colts drafting a receiver with their first pick in this upcoming NFL Draft. If not with the first pick, Indy will definitely make it a focus throughout the draft.

Luckily, this is a great year to draft receivers. The draft class is stacked with pro-ready players that may be available deep into the third round.

This means the Colts should be able to come away with a great talent that can immediately impact the passing game. However, drafting receivers has been a cautionary tale for Indianapolis during the Chris Ballard era.

Indy has selected many receivers in the last five drafts and not many of them have panned out. That’s why Indianapolis is in the current predicament it is in now.

Colts haven’t had success drafting receivers

Since the 2017 Draft, Ballard’s first year, Indy has selected six receivers. Only four are still with the team and that’s Parris Campbell, Michael Pittman Jr, Dezmon Patmon, and Mike Strachan.

Pittman, Indianapolis’ first selection in the 2020 Draft, is the only selection that has yielded promising results, so let’s call this a success for the Colts and remove him from the rest of the group.

The other two receivers drafted were Daurice Fountain and Deon Cain in the 2018 draft.

The five receivers drafted, not named Pittman, have played a combined 43 games in Indianapolis and only started 11. Together, they have accounted for 44 receptions, 482 yards, and three touchdowns.

Wildly enough, the lion’s share of that production belongs to Parris Campbell, who has played in 15 games, started eight, and caught 34 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns.

Considering Campbell’s unfortunate injury history, it’s pretty telling of the rest of the group that he has been able to provide the most consistent contribution.

The unfortunate truth is the Colts haven’t been good at selecting receivers that have been able to immediately impact or become good professional receivers.

In addition to the guys selected not developing into good pros, Indianapolis has also passed on a ton of receiver talent that is shining around the league.

Colts have passed up good receivers in recent drafts

No draft highlights this more than the 2019 Draft, which was loaded with receivers that are currently thriving in the NFL. Like this year’s draft, Indy didn’t have a first-round pick in 2019.

With the second pick of the second round, Indy selected Rock Ya-Sin. Ya-Sin was a great pick and he helped Indy land Yannick Ngakoue, so the Colts can’t really be faulted. However, two selections later, Deebo Samuel was drafted.

When Indy was back on the clock for the second time in round two, it drafted edge rusher Ben Banogu. Unfortunately, that’s a pick Indy probably wishes it had back.

Banogu hasn’t reached his potential and two spots later, the Tennessee Titans selected AJ Brown. Brown has dominated the NFL and helped Tennessee win the last two division championships.

With the Colts’ third and final pick in the second round of the 2019 Draft, they selected Parris Campbell. Campbell may still ultimately have a great career in the league, but so far, it has unfortunately been filled with injuries.

Five picks later, Pro Bowl receiver, DK Metcalf was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.

This is the unfortunate history the Colts have had with receivers in the draft over the last five years. It’s often hard to predict how college players will pan out in the league, and Indy does a pretty good job at it for the majority of positions.

However, they haven’t done too well at wide receiver. That needs to change this year. The Colts need an immediate impact player at receiver and they are in the perfect position to make it happen.