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Colts 2022 Position Recap: Wide Receivers

While the Colts' passing offense lagged as a whole, there were some individual bright spots from Reggie Wayne's wide receivers in 2022. 


2022 Depth Chart

  • Parris Campbell (17 games, 91 targets, 63 receptions, 623 yards, 3 TDs)
  • Michael Pittman Jr. (16 games, 141 targets, 99 receptions, 925 yards, 4 TDs)
  • Alec Pierce (16 games, 78 targets, 41 receptions, 593 yards, 2 TDs)
  • Mike Strachan (13 games, 9 targets, 3 receptions, 59 yards)
  • Ashton Dulin (12 games, 22 targets, 15 receptions, 207 yards, 1 TD)
  • Keke Coutee (8 games, 1 target, 1 reception, 20 yards)
  • Dezmon Patmon (1 game, 6 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards)
  • Ethan Fernea (1 game)

3 Things To Know

  • Michael Pittman Jr. did what he could. Pittman became only the third wide receiver in NFL history to have at least 99 catches and fewer than 1,000 yards in a season, but that odd stat line had more to do with the Colts' offense as a whole than him individually. Of Pittman's 99 catches, 78 came within nine yards of the line of scrimmage, and he was only targeted on seven deep balls (20+ yards beyond the line). But Pittman also didn't have many catch-and-run opportunities on those short passes – according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Pittman's actual YAC per reception was the exact same as his expected YAC per reception (3.6 yards). We've seen what Pittman looks like as an intermediate weapon and inside-the-numbers slasher – he not only had more intermediate and deep receptions (30) in 2021 than he had in 2022 (20), but he had more total YAC on short throws in 2021 (288) than in 2022 (264), despite having 20 fewer receptions on short throws in 2021. The short version of all this: Pittman is still a tremendous player.
  • Alec Pierce built a strong foundation. Pierce quickly showed his outside-the-numbers, go-up-and-get-it ball-winning ability could translate from college to the NFL, and he finished Year 1 with a stat line that was slightly above average for highly-picked rookie wide receivers. The challenge for Pierce going forward will be to expand his route tree, but he's entering his first offseason as a pro with a good idea of what he needs to do. "Got a lot to learn from, a lot of tape and that's what I'm really excited about in the offseason," Pierce said. "I see I can make plays in this league. It's, now I know the things I need to work on and study the tape, see what I gotta work on to become a better player."
  • Parris Campbell proved he could play a full season. Campbell played in all 17 games and was on the field for 980 of the Colts' 1,151 offensive snaps in 2022 (85 percent). And he showed he could be a complete wide receiver with the ability to stretch the field vertically and horizontally, while also grinding out a few years of YAC to pick up a first down. "I think it's one thing to say, someone can't stay healthy when I feel like it's things the athlete can control — whether that's soft tissue issues or just generally not taking care of yourself," Campbell said. "But when it was some of the stuff I was dealing with — broken bones, taking a hit to the knee, brute force — that's stuff I really couldn't control. I think I was just kind of catching some unlucky breaks. But it is what it is, it's a part of my journey, a part of my story. But I knew the way I prepared and took care of myself, the real me would show eventually."

1 Big Stat

Most receptions in the first three years of a player's career in Colts history:

1. Michael Pittman Jr. (227)
2. T.Y. Hilton (214)
3. Marvin Harrison (196)
4. Austin Collie (172)
T-5. Bill Brooks (170)
T-5. Nyheim Hines (170)

"Is (Pittman) a really good freaking player? Damn right he is and he's passionate and he's tough and he competes his (expletive) off and he wears it and I love that about him," general manager Chris Ballard said. "I love that he wears his emotions on his sleeve. I love that he cares deeply about winning. Pittman's a really good football player and we're lucky to have him on our team."

What's Next

The Colts will have decisions to make on Campbell and Dulin, who both are set to become unrestricted free agents in mid-March. It's too early to speculate on how those guys may or may not fit on the 2023 Colts – we'll wait until a new head coach is hired, and wait to see what his coaching staff looks like before diving into that.

A look back at the Colts' wide receiver position through photos from the 2022 season.

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