Does Michael Pittman Have a WR1 Ceiling?
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Michael Pittman, WR, Colts
What You Need to Know:
- Despite a rocky performance from Carson Wentz, Pittman showed major growth in year 2.
- He appeared in all 17 games after missing 3 as a rookie.
- Among 37 WRs with 100+ targets, Pittman ranked 15th in PFF receiving grade, 13th in yards per route run and 7th in contested catch rate.
-vHe caught 71% of his targets overall, another top-15 mark in the 37-player sample.
- Pittman finished as a top-24 WR 8 times, maxing out as the WR2 Week 8 vs. Tennessee.
- Boosted by a thin WR corps that saw T.Y. Hilton miss 7 games, Pittman reached 8+ targets 7 times. His 25.6% target share easily paced the team.
- Pittman saw 25.4% of Indy’s red zone targets — 8th most among WRs league-wide.
- HC Frank Reich and OC Marcus Brady return for another year together. Indy ranked just 28th in pass rate; 21st in total plays last year.
- The offseason turned up the arrival of Matt Ryan, who’s at minimum an upgrade in accuracy and dependability on Carson Wentz.
- Both Reich and Pittman have touted Ryan's ball placement in OTAs. “The ball is just right there, and you just turn and catch the ball. I mean, it just makes it easy,” Pittman said. “Matt can pretty much put it wherever he wants.”
- The Colts are currently slated to enter the season with rookie 2nd rounder Alex Pierce and Parris Campbell behind Pittman.
- Pierce brings downfield ability and contested-catch strength, but he’s still a wild card as a rookie (and 1-year college producer). Campbell brings serious durability concerns.
- The TE group brings promise but doesn’t have a standout target among Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson and rookie Jelani Woods.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Pittman ranked as the PPR WR18 last year in what amounted to a breakout 2nd season.
What’s even more encouraging? He did so alongside an erratic Carson Wentz. Plus, Pittman managed to dodge the Colts making a significant upgrade to the WR corps.
That puts him in line for another hefty workload. Toss in the arrival of Matt Ryan, and a top-12 season is well within reach for Pittman.