Stefon Diggs has been one of the best 15 receivers in the NFL over the past few seasons. A good athlete who runs very good routes and has sticky hands, Diggs has established himself as a high-end all around receiver. He has been successful in a few different offenses with different quarterbacks, and broke the 100 catch, 1000 yard threshold last year with Kirk Cousins as his quarterback.
At 6’0”, 190 lbs. he is not a large receiver and isn’t overly physical, which is what has limited his ceiling. Diggs has shown flashes being a top 8 receiver in the NFL at times, but has had issues with consistency, due in part to inconsistent quarterback play and changes in play calling.
Diggs is in the first year of the 5 year contract extension he signed last off-season. The extension was for 5 years and worth $72,000,000 with $40,000,000 guaranteed.
Why would the Colts go after Diggs? Because they need a receiver. In fact, there is a strong argument that the Colts’ biggest need is at receiver. TY Hilton is a star for the Colts, but with him out of the lineup or at less than 100%, it becomes clear that the receiving corps is below average.
Zach Pascal has had himself a very nice season, emerging as a rotational receiver with good blocking and route running skills. Despite Pascal’s emergence, the Colts clearly need a consistent receiver outside of Hilton, and I don’t think Pascal is that guy. Pascal could potentially become a #3 or #4 receiver long-term for the Colts, but he does not have the talent to be a 60-70 catch, 900 yard complementary receiver that the receivers need.
Diggs could be that and more.
His Fit in the Offense
Frank Reich’s offense puts an emphasis on route running and a strong mental game from his receivers. There are a lot of “read” routes that the receivers need to know about and they need to be able to recognize defenses. Diggs, despite his young age, has 4 years of starter experience in the NFL. He has been a part of offenses that rely on read routes, such as Pat Shurmur’s offense, which requires many of the same traits in its receivers as Reich's.
How Much He Would Cost
With Mohamed Sanu going for a 2nd round pick (assumed to be a late 2nd round since it came from the Patriots) and Amari Cooper going for a late first round pick, you’d have to imagine that Diggs is somewhere in the middle, but perhaps closer to Cooper than to Sanu. Cooper was a year younger at the time, and I believe most would argue his ceiling and talent level is/was higher than that of Diggs. Diggs is clearly better than a receiver like Mohamed Sanu, who is a good but not great complementary #2 receiver.
I believe in order to get Stefon Diggs, the Colts would have to give up the 2nd round pick that they received from the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are likely to be a bottom 5 team in the NFL, which means that their 2nd round pick will be in the 33 to 37 overall pick range in the draft.
Is it Worth it?
The first of 2 second picks would be the Colts’ second pick in the draft and this would fill a big need for the Colts. The Colts have no major weaknesses on offense outside of the receiver spot, as they have one of the strongest offensive lines in the league, a great group of running backs, a good group of tight ends and a capable young quarterback who should be on the roster next season. Adding a receiver like Diggs would give them one of the strongest 5-6 receiving corps in the NFL and another toy for Brissett to play with.
When the Cowboys traded for Cooper, they were in a very similar position. Their trade for Cooper, which cost them the 27th overall pick, looks like a steal right now.
I believe the Colts SHOULD make the trade as it still leaves them with two picks in the first two rounds and trading for Diggs would solve a major issue on the team. Considering the Colts don’t have a lot of major needs on defense (interior defensive line being the only real pressing one), the Colts should strongly consider this deal and add a play-maker to an offense that could use another one.