The Indianapolis Colts made a roster move on Tuesday morning, signing back veteran receiver Dontrelle Inman after placing rookie wide receiver Parris Campbell on IR earlier in the week. Inman is no new face in the building as he was a midseason addition last year who performed admirably down the stretch. He hauled in 28 catches for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns with the Colts last season while also catching a touchdown in the playoffs for the team in 2018.
In today’s film room, we will be looking at a few of Inman’s plays with the Colts last season and see what he brings to this very different team at the end of 2019.
6’3” 200 pounds
166 catches for 2,233 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Pro Day Numbers:
40 Time: 4.47 | 3-Cone: 6.53 | Vertical Jump: 34 Inches | Broad Jump: 118 inches
Inman was one of the better receivers on the Colts in 2018 because how nuanced he is in his route running. He isn’t the fastest or quickest player but he wins by not wasting steps and being physical within his route. Here is an example of how he works within his routes. He works up field and presses his route into the interior of the defender. Once he gets to his landmark at the first down, he initiates contact before breaking down the line inside. He gets just enough separation to make the catch. He does a great job of catching away from his frame and getting the first down. Nuanced route running and a great hands catch away from his frame summarize how important he was to this team in 2018.
Speaking of Inman’s physicality, it is definitely an underrated trait in his game. Here a Titans’ corner attempts to jam Inman at the line of scrimmage in the red zone. Inman counters this by shoving the corner aside with a strong right arm and creating separation for himself. Once he gains that slight separation, he quickly breaks to the outside and is able to score the touchdown. Excellent route that showcases his physicality to find open space in the red zone and make this pass easy for Andrew Luck.
Third down is often called the money down in the NFL. That is the down that is make or break and can be the difference between winning and losing games. Inman was a top target for Andrew Luck last year on third down as he was one of the most efficient receivers in the league on the down. On the year, he had 10 catches on 12 targets for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. Luck’s passer rating of 149.3 when targeting Inman was among the best in football. Here, he gets down the field deep on third down and finds a slight opening in the defense. Luck throws it regardless and Inman makes a ridiculous catch in traffic. By bringing back this veteran receiver, the Colts are getting a top third down target and a player who excels catching in traffic.
Route running and winning early in the route are great aspects of playing receiver in the NFL. On top of doing this though, good receivers have to be able to find openings in defenses even when they aren’t initially open in their routes. Here in a huge matchup against the Titans, Inman does exactly that. He breaks inside to where there is initially safety help on the play. He keeps working along the back of the endzone while Luck buys time in the pocket and stays available for his quarterback. Once Luck finds him, Inman does a great job of keeping his feet in bounds and making the play.
Final clip in today’s scouting report shows that Inman can create separation with his route running despite mostly winning with his strength and hands. Here he sets up the outsdie corner perfectly by starting his route to the inside. He starts to break that way before he outs on the brakes and shifts back to the outside for the opening. Watch how he doesn’t waste any steps and sinks his hips perfectly to make the corner bite on the play. Perfect route and great play for the score in the playoffs.
Signing Dontrelle Inman at this point of the season is a bit of an odd move. The Colts are basically out of the playoff race and signing a veteran receiver who is likely not a part of the team’s future plans is a weird signing at this point of the season.
With that being said though, it will be a treat to watch him play for the Colts again. Inman was arguably one of the team’s most important players down the stretch last season and he helped solidify a very weak receiving core overall. He should be a major asset to Jacoby Brissett in the pass game as his hands, technique, and ability to make plays on third down are desperately needed right now. Overall, this signing doesn’t really do much long term but should be fun to watch over these last three weeks of the regular season.