Indianapolis Colts hopeful Michael Pittman Jr., rookie Alec Pierce could be next great WR pair – Indianapolis Colts blog

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis ColtsThe search for the perfect pass-catching pair has been ongoing for many years.

Treisteen to be exact.

To see the Colts last two players (receiver), you have to go back to 2009. Reggie WayneClosed end Dallas ClarkA season's receiving distance should be at least 1,000 yards.

For the last time that the team had two wide receivers (Wayne, 2006), you have to go back. Marvin HarrisonThis feat was achieved by ).

The Colts had an 1,000-yard receiver in Michael Pittman Jr.In 2021. Second-round pick now Alec Pierce will seek to join him in that category, and he’ll have every opportunity to be the team’s No. 2 wide receiver next year.

“He’s a great receiver,” Pierce said about Pittman, who was also a second-round pick (No. 34 overall in 2020 “I love watching him. In his second year, he had a great season. He probably rushed for more than 1,000 yards. So yeah, he’s a great player, a great receiver, and I’d love to learn from him.”

Pierce’s numbers during his final season at Cincinnati don’t scream automatic success. In 2021, he had 52 receptions for 884 yards. He also scored eight touchdowns. That's because the Bearcats are very efficient with the ball. Chris Ballard, Colts general manager, was impressed by the average catch rate of 17.0 yards.

“The one thing you notice about Pierce is he gets behind people,” Ballard said. “I mean, this kid can really, really run and really adjust to the football.”

Pierce was the 11th receiver selectedIn a draft class that was very deep at the position. The Colts didn’t have a first-round pick because they sent it to the Philadelphia EaglesIn 2021, for quarterback Carson WentzAccording to some scouts, Pierce does have first-round skills.

“I didn’t know why he wasn’t getting talked about in that way, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out,” Ballard said. “But could Alec Pierce have played at Ohio State? Absolutely.”

In the offseason, receiver was high up on the Colts' list of priorities. The Colts didn't want to be without it as the free agency process progressed and they sat back. Zach PascalSigned with Philadelphia Veteran T.Y. Hilton is still on the market, and the Colts haven’t shut the door on his possible return, but the 32-year-old likely wouldn't have the same kind of role that he had throughout his career in Indianapolis.

That’s why opportunities will be there for Pierce to immediately step in and have an impact.

The No. 2 receiver spot is his most difficult competition. The No. 2 receiver spot is his toughest competition. Parris Campbell), another second-rounder (No. For the Colts, he will be 59 in 2019. Campbell's durability is the problem. It’s hard to be counted on as a reliable receiver if you can’t stay on the field. Campbell has participated in just 15 of the 49 regular-season contests.

Other than Pittman, the returning receivers combined for only 28 receptions last season and four touchdowns.

“It’s going to be very competitive,” coach Frank Reich said. “It’s the same every year. The other day, we were discussing this offensive staff before the draft began. There is no depth chart, just like every year. We are simply competing. We’re rolling. We’re going to roll guys through. It’s the NFL. It's the NFL. We’ll roll through, everybody will have a chance to compete.”

Pierce was first to hear from new starting quarterback after being drafted in the Colts. Matt Ryan. The quarterback sent his new receiver a text on draft night congratulating him even though Pierce initially wasn’t sure it was him because the text simply said, “Matt.”

Pierce knows that Ryan was his favorite person. Julio Jones, who was Ryan’s primary receiver during their time together with the Atlanta Falcons.

“I loved watching Julio Jones as a kid, so that was really awesome to watch Matt Ryan with him,” Pierce said, “and hopefully I can be like a new Julio for him.”

Although Pierce spent most of his time at Cincinnati on the outside, he can also line up in the slots. Reich's offense relies heavily on motion and underneath route running. Ryan will be the starter, so this versatility is crucial.

Ballard stated that Pierce needs to improve his route running skills and his ability to move off the line. He will have the opportunity to learn from Wayne, the Colts new receivers coach. Wayne was a Colts veteran who had 1,070 receiving yards for 14,345 yard and 82 touchdowns over his career (2001-14).

“I think I’m a guy you can put to the boundary, and I’m able to beat coverage one-on-one with speed and size, being able to go get the ball, being able to stretch the field vertically and hopefully make them have to play safeties over the top and open up the run game,” Pierce said.

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