Colts' Zach Pascal Ranked among NFL's Best Slot Receivers

The Colts' Zach Pascal recently ranked as the NFL's eighth-best slot receiver.
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The Indianapolis Colts' wide receiver group has been a hotly discussed topic among fans for the last couple of years.

Between T.Y. Hilton's future, Parris Campbell's health, the development of Michael Pittman Jr., or who wins the Colts' WR5/WR6 job(s), there has been plenty in which to talk.

However, one player who tends to float around in the ether is Zach Pascal.

The fourth-year receiver is often overlooked because he's not a big star and doesn't put up gaudy statistics, but there aren't many NFL players more reliable than him.

Maybe that's why he's seldom discussed — he's sturdy, reliable, and doesn't have baggage.

However, one publication is shining a light on the Colts' do-it-all wideout.

Doug Farrar of TouchdownWire recently came out with his list of the NFL's 11 best slot receivers and Pascal was a somewhat surprising addition to the list at No. 8.

8. Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts

Pascal is probably the least-known receiver on this list, but he caught 33 of 48 slot targets for 397 yards and five touchdowns with a quarterback in Philip Rivers who was clearly at the end of the road. Not that the Redemption Edition of Carson Wentz gives Pascal more explosive opportunities, but the third-year man from Old Dominion has the route and leverage understanding to drive slot defenders nuts, and that should at least help Wentz along the way.

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Pascal is considered a multi-talented, renaissance man of a player for the Colts. He's a wide receiver by title but he's also returned kicks for the Colts, been a core special teamer, ran the ball, passed it, and is even believed to be the team's emergency quarterback.

Although he typically enters the regular season slated down the depth chart, he always seems to play a bigger role by the season's end.

In 2020, Colts starting slot receiver Parris Campbell injured his knee in Week 2 and missed the rest of the season which thrust Pascal into the slot, and he clearly answered the call.

Dec 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) makes a catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.

On the season, he caught 44-of-71 targets for 629 yards (14.3 avg.) and 5 touchdowns. The receptions and yardage were single-season career-highs while the touchdowns matched it. As for the slot production Farrar detailed, it resulted in a passer rating of 116.4 for quarterback Philip Rivers when targeting Pascal.

For his career, in the slot, Pascal has caught 64-of-88 targets for 806 yards (12.6 avg.) and 7 touchdowns.

Overall, he has started 31-of-48 games (all with the Colts) and caught 112-of-189 targets for 1,504 yards (13.4 avg.), and 12 touchdowns. He also has 4 carries for 26 yards (6.5 avg.), and 25 kickoff returns for 583 yards (23.3 avg.).

Once again in 2021, Pascal is unlikely to be the Colts' primary slot option entering the season as that almost certainly will be earned back by Campbell. However, we all know Pascal is going to see snaps, so he can get back to work against these nickel corners.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal (14) pulls in a sideline catch around Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson (22) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Indianapolis Colts Vs Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9 Nfl Regular Season

Is Pascal properly rated on TouchdownWire's list? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!


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