After acquiring former NFL MVP quarterback Matt Ryan via trade in March, much of the focus surrounding the Indianapolis Colts has centered on the short-handed wide receiver corps.
Burgeoning star Michael Pittman Jr. returns for a third season looking to build off of a breakout 2021 season in which he hauled in 88 passes for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. The Colts also spent their first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on Cincinnati standout wide receiver Alec Pierce, giving Indianapolis a strong 1-2 punch at the top of the depth chart.
After those two though, questions remain.
Veteran T.Y. Hilton remains on the free agent market, and it's looking less and less likely that the two sides have a reunion again. Zach Pascal was allowed to walk in free agency, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles, causing the Colts to lose their second-leading receiver from a year ago.
The rest of the depth chart remains a question for the Colts as Parris Campbell attempts to stay healthy this year, while Ashton Dulin aims to prove his breakout 2021 season wasn't a fluke.
Other names down the depth chart include veteran Keke Coutee, DeMichael Harris, Dezmon Patmon and Mike Strachan, showing that there's more questions than answers at the moment on the depth chart at the position.
The talk regarding the Colts' wide receiver room has them feeling a little bit disrespected, according to first-year wide receivers coach Reggie Wayne.
“This is me personally,’’ Wayne said, via Mike Chappell of Fox 59. “They probably feel a little bit disrespected, so they want to kind of surprise some people. These guys are on a mission, I believe, and hopefully I can help and make them household names.
“These dudes are hungry, man. They’re hungry,’’ Wayne added. “It’s kind of funny. I kind of wondered coming in with such a young room how that would be because ideally most times you’ll have a veteran guy in there that can kind of lead the way. Like, ‘Hey, watch him. Watch what he (does).’ Or they can see him do it, and they stand in line behind him.’’
The Colts' young wide receivers should feel disrespected, because there are very few outside of the facility believing in them and their overall talent.
Pittman Jr. is an ascending star, and the belief is Pierce will develop rather nicely into a top receiver for the Indianapolis. After that though, questions remain.
Sure, the talent is there with the likes of Campbell, Coutee and Patmon, but the Colts need to see it consistently. Dulin is quite the story, but counting on him to potentially be WR3 on the depth chart still feels like a stretch.
Overall, the group looks promising on paper, but they have to prove it on the field. That's where it counts. Using that disrespect as a motivating factor can go a long way for the young Colts.
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