A year two jump for Alec Pierce would make a huge difference for the Colts offense

Oct 30, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Alec Pierce (14)
Oct 30, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Alec Pierce (14) / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts are trying to improve their offense in free agency, but their biggest boost may come from second-year receiver Alec Pierce.

The Indianapolis Colts lost wide receiver Parris Campbell in free agency but replaced him with Isaiah McKenzie, while also re-signing Ashton Dulin. Indy knows it’s wide receiver room could be better and deeper, so it’s working to fix that. While the Colts will likely continue to look at wide receivers in free agency and the draft, the biggest difference in next year’s wide receiver room could be Alec Pierce.

Pierce was Indy’s first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, and after a rocky first game that included a dropped touchdown and a concussion, Pierce went on to have a very promising season. He quickly developed into somewhat of a reliable big-play receiver, as he routinely found ways to come down with the balls that Indy’s quarterbacks threw in the air.

In 16 games as a rookie, Pierce finished year one with 41 receptions for 593 yards and two touchdowns. His 14.5 yards per reception was the most for any Colts player last season, aside from Keke Coutee who had one catch and Mike Strachan who had three. Of the regular receivers, Pierce was an explosive threat.

However, it was obvious that he was just scratching the surface. Pierce has the tools to be a dominant receiver in this league, and if he takes the kind of second-year jump that most NFL players do, the Colts will have two quality receivers.

What can Alec Pierce provide the Colts in year two?

As a rookie, Michael Pittman Jr. caught 40 passes for 503 yards and one touchdown. In his second season, he improved to 88 receptions for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. That kind of jump isn’t just exclusive to Pittman either. Young NFL players, especially receivers, are way more comfortable by their second season and are better acclimated to the speed of the NFL and everything else that’s different.

Pierce already had a better rookie season than Pittman, so with a year two jump, things could get scary. He has the talent to be a 1000-yard receiver, and if he fulfills that talent, the Colts should have two 1000-yard receivers in Pittman and Pierce.

It’ll be interesting to see how exactly Shane Steichen designs Indianapolis’ offense. While Indy does have Pittman and Pierce on the outside, the Colts still have Jonathan Taylor in the backfield and a very intriguing group of tight ends. Throw in the rookie quarterback that Indy is expected to select in the draft, and it will be a young and promising offense— as long as the offensive line is fixed.

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