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INDIANAPOLISThe offensive heavy draft we predicted came to fruition for the Colts in 2020.

For the first time in the Chris Ballard era, the majority of the Colts’ premium picks went to the offensive side of the ball.

In the three previous drafts, the Colts took the following number of offensive players with their first five picks: 2017: Two; 2018: Two; 2019: One. They took four in 2020.

The Colts made five total offensive selections in the 2020 Draft: one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers and one offensive linemen.

Here’s a capsule look at the Colts picks on offense in 2020:

Round 2, Pick 34: USC Wide Receiver Michael Pittman (6-4, 223)

-2019 Stats: 13 games played (13 starts). Had 101 receptions for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns.

-Career Stats: 48 games played (30 starts). Had 171 receptions, for 2,519 yards (14.7 average) and 19 touchdowns.

-Interesting Fact: Pittman’s father (also Michael) played 11 seasons as a running back in the NFL: Broncos (2008), Buccaneers (2002-07), Cardinals (1998-2001).

-Pittman’s Quote to Note: “I feel like I try to be diverse in what I can do. I feel like I use my hands well. Being a bigger guy, people expect me to be physical and strong. So I have that but I can also do all the stuff that all the smaller guys can like the quick feet and route running.”

-Chris Ballard’s Thoughts: “Our scouts liked him. Both Chris McGaha and Matt Terpening, who went out there, liked him. Frank (Reich) had a strong conviction on him also. I will say this about the receiver draft, I kind of said it the other day, it was about flavor. What flavor did you want? What we saw with Michael was a guy that could win at all three levels. He was big. He’s strong to the ball. He competes. He got better every year in college. He’s the type of teammate we want. We think he’s got a chance to be a heck of a player. We thought about (trading back). We had a couple offers, but they weren’t ones that just made you turn your head and say, ‘You know what, we need to do this.’ When (Tee) Higgins went at (pick) 33, we said, ‘You know what, this is the time to take Pittman.’ We had Pittman ranked really high on our board. We liked him. I liked him. This kid is going to be a heck of a pro. We are excited about getting him.”

-Outlook: The polish, size and character of Pittman was too good for the Colts to trade back out of No. 34. At 6-4 and 223 pounds, Pittman brings a frame to the Colts they’ve been missing at the receiver position for years. Look up at those numbers Pittman produced in his final season at USC. Justin Jefferson (LSU) was the only other power conference receiver to put up similar numbers, and he did it with the No. 1 overall pick (Pittman had three different QBs, with a true freshman starting the majority of the season). McGaha said he never saw Pittman lose a 1-on-1 rep during his practice visits to USC. Pittman helps diversify the wideout group and should be able to help Philip Rivers out right away. Remember, Rivers’ Hall of Fame numbers have come thanks to numerous years of working with bigger body wideouts. Pittman fits that mold.

Round 2, Pick 41: Wisconsin Running Back Jonathan Taylor (5-10, 226)

-2019 Stats: 14 games played (14 starts). Ran for 2,003 yards on 320 carries, with 21 touchdowns. Caught 26 balls for 252 yards and 5 touchdowns.

-Career Stats: 41 games played (40 starts). Rushed for 6,174 yards on 926 carries, with 50 touchdowns. Caught 42 balls for 407 yards and 5 touchdowns.

-Interesting Fact: Only running back in FBS history to rush for at least 1,900 yards in three consecutive seasons.

-Taylor’s Quote to Note: “They’re definitely getting a tough back who’s able to run in-between the tackles but has a track background so they’re able to hit the edge and take one the distance. I think that’s the biggest thing – you have a guy that can run well inside and also able to hit the edge. It’s kind of hard to defend, you have to make sure everyone is all over the field.”

-Ballard’s Quote to Note: “He is a unique talent and anytime a unique talent starts to fall a little bit – at that point we were like, ‘Man, we need to go get the player.’ We knew there were other teams behind us that could’ve coveted him. I don’t know what the guys in front of us – I don’t know that. But we got two picks away and we decided to go get him and to be quite honest with you we got the fifth (round pick) back in the next trade we made and it is a higher fifth. So to me, he is too unique a talent. There is nothing worse on draft day than all of a sudden you say, ‘This guy is really going to make us better and help our football team.’ And then he goes the pick in front of you.”

-Outlook: Taylor is already quite familiar with running behind great offensive lines inside of Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts weren’t messing around in Round Two. Some concern over perhaps the Jaguars taking Taylor sent the Colts moving up a couple of spots to get the dynamic runner. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.39) of any running back at the Combine, while weighing the fourth most (226 pounds). Taylor compiled an incredible 31 100-yard rushing games in his three seasons—defining consistency. With the Colts, Taylor should bring immediate 1st and 2nd down ability, perhaps rotating series with Marlon Mack. Obviously, the new long-term answer at running back should be viewed as Taylor, with Mack entering a contract year in 2020.

Round 4, Pick 122: Washington Quarterback Jacob Eason (6-6, 231)

-2019 Stats: 13 games played (13 starts). Was 260-of-405 (64.2 percent) for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

-Career Stats: 32 career games played (26 starts) as a 2-year starter. Was 468-of-782 (59.8 percent) for 5,562 yards, 39 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

-Interesting Fact: Father, Tony, played wide receiver at Notre Dame (1984-88).

-Eason’s Quote to Note: “I had great communication with the Colts. I think I talked to them more than any other team whether it was Coach Reich or QB coaches. I talked to everyone in the organization. It was pretty cool because it wasn’t all about football all the time. A lot of it was personal information about my family and my college experience. Coach (Reich) would ask me some off the wall questions then we’d get into the film room and he’d kind of teach me some of the offense and then I kind of go and connect it to my offense. It was really cool. I got to get a building of the start of our foundation, of our relationship and I’m looking forward to getting down to Indianapolis, meeting in person and really getting to work and learning. There’s a great situation to learn from Philip (Rivers) and Jacoby (Brissett) in that QB room. I’m very excited to get in there and learn from those guys and help out in any way I can. I’m very fortunate to be in the position that I am and it’s a great fit for me.”

-Reich’s Quote to Note: “I think his arm talent was probably the best in the draft as far as quarterbacks go. What I liked about his arm talent is he can throw it on a rope, he can throw it long, he can throw with touch, he can change the speed on the ball and he can deliver from different arm angles. The accuracy was fine, he needs to get better. His footwork needs to get better. Reading through his progressions needs to get better. There are a lot of things that need work, but physically he has a lot of the tools. But we all know that playing this position is a lot more than physical. So that is why we spent some time with him as far as the meetings and protections just trying to test the mental acumen of this position and try to get an idea of how they think as a quarterback. We would do that with anybody. I talked to multiple quarterbacks during this process and it was the same process with everyone of them. So Jacob did a nice job but like Chris said, there is still a long way to go. There is a long way to go, but we are happy to have him.”

-Outlook: Smartly, the Colts did not exit the 2020 Draft without taking a quarterback. Is Jacob Eason the future franchise quarterback of the Colts? Who knows. But he’s a talented QB with desired traits identified by Frank Reich. Now, it’s time to learn, grow and mature. When you watch highlights of Eason, it’s pretty darn impressive. But Reich has laid out specific areas where the quarterback needs to develop. The lack of starting experience for Eason (2016 at Georgia, 2019 at Washington) indicates there’s room for him to grow. Will he need game experience to show that growth? Outside of handing him that, there’s a lot of positives for Eason in coming to Indianapolis. Reich has coached Rivers, Andrew Luck and Carson Wentz in career seasons for those respective guys. It’s time to see if Reich can work some magic again with Eason.

Round 5, Pick 149: Ball State Offensive Lineman Danny Pinter (6-4, 306)

-2019 Stats: 12 games played (12 starts at right tackle).

-Career Stats: 43 games (35 career starts: 11 at tight end, 24 at right tackle).

-Interesting Fact: The South Bend native (John Adams High School) grew up a diehard Bears fan. He put on 30 pounds to make the switch from tight end to offensive tackle in 2018.

-Pinter’s Quote to Note: “This state means a lot to me. I’ve lived here my whole life, I have played football here my whole life. So to have the opportunity to stay here and stay around a bunch of people who helped me get to his point is – really, I can’t put it into words. I am so excited.”

-Ballard’s Quote to Note: “I love Danny, I’m not going to lie. Actually, we were trying move up to get him. I probably won’t ever give you all this much insight, but for like 30 minutes we were trying to move up and just couldn’t get up to get him. (The) first exposure for me was at the NFLPA game. He had an unbelievable workout at the combine. Then we continued to study him. Now do I think he can play some tackle? Yes, but center/guard is where I think he’s going to make his hay in the league. And you want to talk about character? Believe me, this guy’s got blue character and he fits our culture. He has the traits we look for in offensive linemen.”

-Outlook: In a perfect world, Pinter probably wouldn’t start for the Colts until 2022. Every starting offensive lineman is under contract for the next two seasons. But if Pinter can put on some strength, he might just be a future right guard, forming an interior with Ryan Kelly and Quenton Nelson. Even though Pinter started for two seasons at right tackle, his shorter arms has many thinking the interior is the best place for his 6-4 athletic frame. The Colts desperately needed offensive line depth in this draft. They waited a good while to address it, and didn’t take a projected tackle. But, for Pinter, he might just be this team’s top reserve linemen come Week 1.

Round 6, Pick 212: Washington State Wide Receiver Dezmon Patmon (6-4, 225)

-2019 Stats: 13 games played (3 starts). 58 receptions for 762 yards, 8 touchdowns.

-Career Stats: 43 games (12 career starts). 156 receptions for 1,976 yards (12.7 average), 13 touchdowns.

-Interesting Fact: Recorded at least one reception in 33 straight games

-Patmon’s Quote to Note: “My coach would always say, ‘Play big.’ Towards the end of my career I progressively got better and kind of realized my true size and strength. So I think that’s apparent in my tape. Just being able to outmuscle and out-physical guys. As simple as it is, just playing bigger really. So, I definitely think I’ve got better at that over the years. But there’s still room for development. So, I’m ready to develop at the next level.”

-Assistant Director of College Scouting Matt Terpening: “He’s got size, he ran really well at the Combine, he tested well, he’s got good makeup and he’s smart. The one thing in college football, what you’ll see is a majority of teams that run the spread, and not every single college football team runs the same routes as NFL teams run. And that’s something we look at, the athlete, can the athlete learn the routes that we want our receivers to run? So that’s going to be something that a lot of guys that come out of that offense are going to have to learn to do. But we’re excited to get a guy like Dezmon there. He’s got the physical traits, production and he’s got size.”

-Outlook: Not surprisingly, the Colts double dipped at the wide receiver position in 2020. It was interesting to note how similar of body types and athletic makeups for Pittman and Patmon (and names and conferences). Even with a big frame, and 4.48 40-yard dash speed, Patmon did not have as massive of a role at Washington State as you’d expect. He made just 12 career starts and was more of a rotational wideout. Patmon mentioned route running as something he wants to clean up at the next level, and he did have some drop issues. But the Colts, and new wideouts coach Mike Groh, get an impressive athlete to try and mold. If nothing else, could Patmon give you red zone target with his big body?

ICYMI: Colts 2020 Defensive Draft Pick Recap