2. Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods have emerged as explosive weapons for Colts
Jelani Woods has quickly become a fan favorite in Indianapolis. With a 6-foot-7 physical frame that can outreach all defenders, Woods burst onto the scene in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs with only two catches, but two touchdowns. Indy fans were reminded of his talent a couple of months later when he hung 98 yards against an experienced Pittsburgh Steelers secondary.
Although Woods has been unable to establish a consistent role in the offense this season, fans should be excited about the potential the rookie tight end brings on Sundays. On the season, Woods is currently tied with Paris Campbell for the most touchdown receptions with three and fifth on the team in receiving yards with 208.
Alec Pierce is another standout rookie from Ballard’s 2022 draft class that has shown flashes of star potential. At the end of week 13, Pierce has three games with 80+ yards, including his most recent showing against the Dallas Cowboys, in which Pierce registered four receptions on eight targets for 86 yards and a touchdown.
At the start of the season, many believed that the Colts’ wide receiver group was not talented enough to compete in the division. Even though the offense has been stagnant and the passing game has struggled, Pierce and the resurgence of healthy Parris Campbell have quieted critics who said Indy didn’t have enough talented wide receivers.
Although Pierce is on pace to finish his rookie season with less than 50 catches, he’s making the most of them by averaging 15.9 yards per reception, which is good for ninth in the league and is more than Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and Justin Jefferson, who all average under 15 yards per reception. Pierce ranks second on the team in receiving yards with 510.