Colts Teams Needs: Wide Receiver


For the next few days, Andrew Aziz will be dishing out “Colts Team Needs” articles that will lead up nicely to the start of free agency on March 13th. Today’s entry is about the wide receivers.

Opening Statement:

The wide receiver spot hasn’t been a need for the Colts since the early 90’s. We’ll it’s become one again. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are almost definitely out of Indianapolis after Reggie Wayne said he would like to be with Peyton and Garcon rejected contract offers from the Colts. This leaves the Colts with 2 receivers under contract: Austin Collie and Blair White.


What They Can Do To Fix This Need:

Like the cornerback spot, the Colts can go to Free Agency or the draft to find some talent. They should not bring in undrafted free agents and hope there’s a diamond in the rough. The Colts must go into the draft and with the 9 draft picks that the Colts (probably) have, they should spend at least 2 on the receivers spot. I think they should leave the 1st and 2nd round to Andrew Luck and a cornerback, but after that spend some picks on receivers. A.J Jenkins is a great value pick in the 4th round and Chris Owusu played with Luck at Stanford and he could be drafted in the 6th round. In the Free Agency, you have a good amount of star receivers in Vincent Jackson, Reggie Wayne and Marques Colston. Problem is they’re expensive and the Colts are in long-term mode. The draft is the best place to find future good talent. Go to the draft and spend picks there on some good receivers with a lot of upside.


What the Depth Chart of that Position Looks like Now:

#1 (LWR): Reggie Wayne (Free Agent (chances of returning: 10%))

#2 (RWR): Pierre Garcon (Free Agent (chances of returning: 25%))

#3 (LIWR): Austin Collie

#4 (RIWR): Anthony Gonzalez (Free Agent (chances of returning 33%))

#5 (backup for any position): Blair White

Prospects: Jeremy Ross, Jarred Fayson


What the Ideal (and Realistic) Depth Chart of that Position Looks Like:

#1 (LWR): Reggie Wayne (Signed to 2y deal = 12M including 7M bonus over 2y)

#2 (RWR): Pierre Garcon (Signed to 4y deal = 23M including 15M bonus over 4y)

#3 (LIWR): Austin Collie

#4 (RIWR): Chris Owusu (Drafted)

#5 (backup for any position): Blair White

#6 (Prospect/Practice Squad player) : Jordan White (Drafted)


Expectations for Next Year:

The Colts should go into next year preparing without Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. This means that they must get wide receivers in the draft. The wide receiver spot is a position that is rebuilding. You’re not going to get superstars right away, so just start from the bottom and build to the top. This year’s wide receiver draft should set the foundation to the wide receivers spot then over the years build on that either through Free Agency or through the draft. The Colts must draft receivers this year and for years to come as the position is short on people and Austin Collie is a free agent next year. They should set the building blocks this year and get Andrew Luck some competent targets and he’ll already have Austin Collie. I expect the receivers to struggle a bit, as most of them will be new/rookies so you can’t expect much from them unless it’s Blackmon or Floyd. Keep building on this year’s draft. Don’t expect much from the receivers, but Andrew Luck had a terrible receiving core at Stanford with his best wide receiver being Owusu, who isn’t great. They seemed to click. If they draft him, we could see Luck be more comfortable, but even then the receivers will still struggle. The Colts will go from deep and great receiving core to arguably the worst in the league.