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Colts Position Group Previews: Wide Receivers

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Having a complete wide receiver core is one of the luxuries few NFL teams can afford. The Colt’s wide receivers are by no means complete, but they are on their way to being that. With a new QB, new coach, new offense, and new culture being implemented, we could potentially be witnessing a very good WR corps maturing before our eyes. However, where do these wide receivers rank amongst themselves?



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The Reliables: Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, and Josh Downs

Listing Michael Pittman Jr. as one of the reliables should go without saying. Yet, I still felt it necessary to include him on this list. Since his rookie campaign, Pittman has been one of the Colt’s best wide receivers. He came into the league as a veteran group of receivers was on their way out and now he’ll be tasked with mentoring Alec Pierce and Josh Downs. 

Going into last year, I expected big things from Alec Pierce. In fact, I expected big things from the Colts in general. When it was all said and done, Alec Pierce didn’t live up to expectations last year. But, its fair to attribute his shortcomings to Colt’s shortcomings as a whole. Going into the upcoming season, my expectations for him haven’t dropped off. If anything, with their new HC and QB, I actually, in a way, expect more. I understand that his stats may not be top tier, but if he shows the ability to consistently get open and create opportunities for others, it will show a step in the right direction.

I know what you are asking…“How could I label a rookie as reliable?” I admit that we don’t know how Downs’ game will translate to the NFL. But from the early looks in the Colt’s summer camp, things are so far so good. Currently he’s projected to be the Colts starting slot receiver. With Shane Steichen calling the plays, Jonathan Taylor in the backfield, and Michael Pittman Jr. out wide, he should be a steady and reliable target for whoever is under center. 


Buffalo Bills agree contract with former Bronco Isaiah Mckenzie |

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The Rest: Isaiah McKenzie, Ashton Dulin, and Breshad Perriman

These three wideouts are by no means anything special. But they will be a good corp to lead the young WRs to being something special. Between Isaiah McKenzie and Breshad Perriman alone, over a decade of experience has been compiled. Furthermore, these two men have winning experience with Breshad Perriman playing with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay and Isaiah McKenzie playing with the Bills. Dulin is the outlier amongst the group of veterans here although he is bordering being one himself going into his fifth NFL season. Nonetheless while the other two should bring perspective to the “reliables”, Dulin should bring familiarity as him and Pittman are currently the longest tenured Colt WRs on this list. 


Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Image: Pro Football Network

Potential Breakouts: Alec Pierce and Josh Downs

I know what you’re thinking…aren’t these guys supposed to be the reliable ones? How is it they’re also listed on the breakout list? For Alec Pierce I already explained how the expectation for him is to play at a high level. However why is this? I could go into detail explaining how good a route runner, athletic, and smart a player Pierce is, but I believe his breakout will have to do more with the people around him. Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor will draw the attention of opposing defenses, but it needs to be used to the Colts advantage. Those guys will naturally get their looks but there will be times where they won’t. I expect it’s these situations where we’ll see Pierce blossom into the receiver many expected him to be last season. 

As for Downs, there are also high expectations for him. He’s a quick, shifty, and also smart receiver. But the same goes for Downs as does for Pierce. I don’t know how well Downs does if Pittman, Taylor, and Steichen aren’t there. But, because they are, I think it’s fair to expect him being an impactful player especially for someone who was a third round selection. 


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