INDIANAPOLIS – It’s something Frank Reich was hoping would happen back in early March.
A month later, and many fans have realized why Reich put that out there.
The Colts, given their current wide receiver depth chart behind Michael Pittman, need some wide receivers to emerge in 2022.
“I do think we got some young (wide receivers) who have some upside, who, given the opportunity, given another year, I expect one or more of those guys by the end of the season to be like, ‘Oh wow, we didn’t even realize we had that,’” Reich said back during the Combine.
“That’s what I’m hoping happens—that there’s at least one guy in that group that right now, nobody is thinking is going to be a guy and they become a legit guy.”
The Colts have said that while they believe a healthy Parris Campbell (360 receiving yards in 15 games played, while missing 34 games) can still offer something, yet they’ve also stated expecting him to be No. 2 or No. 3 on the wideout depth chart is wishful thinking.
It’s an almost certainty the Colts will draft a wide receiver(s) later this month, but even Ballard has mentioned that instant impact from that position is no guarantee.
Let’s take a look at the other 5 wideouts (for now) on the Colts depth chart.
Will any of the following emerge?
-Keke Coutee (84 catches in 25 career games): Easily the most decorated wide receiver on this list, Coutee was on the Colts practice squad last season. He played in 2 games (33 offensive snaps) and grabbed 1 catch. At 5-11 and 180 pounds, Coutee is probably more of a slot option, which is where one would expect a healthy Campbell to line up. If you are going on actual proven production, Coutee has the most of any on this list. But his injury history is awful, too. He’s never played more than 9 games in 4 NFL seasons.
-Ashton Dulin (30 catches in 43 career games): Dulin is much more known for his special teams play with the Colts. Since going undrafted in 2019, Dulin has seen his offensive role steadily grow. In 43 career games, Dulin has never had more than two catches in a game. So it’s not like we’ve seen Dulin truly flash in a game or two. There’s been a moment or two, but nothing substantial enough to pencil him high on the depth chart. Dulin has tremendous speed and put up big collegiate numbers at the Division II level.
-DeMichael Harris (10 catches in 10 career games): Harris had some moments in 2020, but played just 2 offensive snaps in 3 games for the Colts last year. Similar to Coutee, Harris is on the smaller side (5-8, 178) and has played more of a hybrid Nyheim Hines role in this offense.
-Dezmon Patmon (4 catches in 9 career games): A 6th round pick in 2020, Patmon had arguably the highlight of the 2021 season with his game-clinching touchdown on Christmas in Arizona. Still though, Patmon’s big body hasn’t really been used much. He’s played 66 total offensive snaps in two NFL seasons. The 6-4, 220-pound frame is tantalizing though and the Colts like the upside.
-Mike Strachan (2 catches in 6 career games): Like Patmon, Strachan is more known for what he’s done in training camp. It was never thought Strachan would impact at a really high level as a rookie transitioning from Division II, and having not played his final year of college football due to COVID. But it was surprising to see Strachan play 18 and 34 snaps in the first two games of the season and then play just 10 total snaps the rest of the season, with being inactive in 11 games. Do we see those training camp highlights evolve into Strachan being more of a reliable and consistent target?