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Why the Colts need to invest in a receiver early in the 2019 Draft

The Colts suffered from a considerable drop-off in production from receivers when leaving out Hilton and Ebron, so the need for a #2 receiver is evident.

Divisional Round - Indianapolis Colts v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

There is a common misconception that the Colts are already set at receiver. After signing Devin Funchess, and with Deon Cain back from injury, wide receiver is not considered a main need for Indy. However, taking a look at the numbers, there is a clear need for another weapon on the passing game to complement T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron.

Colts Receivers

#1 Options Receptions Targets Completion% Yards YPA Touchdowns TD Rate
#1 Options Receptions Targets Completion% Yards YPA Touchdowns TD Rate
T.Y Hilton 76 120 63.33% 1270 10.6 6 7.9%
Ebron 66 110 60.00% 750 6.8 13 19.7%
Overall 142 230 61.67% 2020 8.7 19 13.4%
#2 Options
Grant 35 52 67.3% 334 6.4 1 2.9%
Rogers 53 72 73.6% 485 6.7 2 3.8%
Pascal 27 46 58.7% 268 5.8 2 7.4%
Inman (*) 28 39 71.8% 304 7.8 3 10.7%
Funchess 44 79 55.7% 549 6.9 4 9.1%
Overall 187 288 65.4% 1940 6.7 12 6.4%

*Inman is still a free-agent.

#1 options are players with more than 100 targets, #2 options are player with more than 30

The Colts have also failed to resign Dontrelle Inman thus far, and he was a key component down the stretch for the Colts passing offense, developing a nice connection with Andrew Luck.

While Funchess can help solve many of the Colts issues’ and Deon Cain could become a valuable piece of the Colts passing attack, a true Super Bowl contender should not rely on a receiver that struggled with drops throughout his career and another one who has not played a down in the NFL and is coming off a torn ACL.

This is why the Colts should select a wide receiver, or two, early in the 2019 NFL Draft. Perhaps not with the first pick, but there are plenty of options in every round. If the Colts give Andrew Luck a solid complement of weapons, he could improve his level drastically and could very well torch the League with Pat Mahomes-type numbers.

There are plenty of receivers in the draft that would be ideal fits for whatever the Colts want to do. Want a speedy receiver that can take the top off defenses next to T.Y? You have Parris Campbell, Mecole Hardman, Terry McLaurin, or Marquise Brown. Want to take a big, physical receiver that can help out Luck in the red-zone? Then you have N’Keal Harry, Kelvin Harmon, Myles Boykin, or Hakeem Butler. There are also some great slot receivers that should be available in the later rounds, like Penny Hart or Hunter Renfrow.

While pass rushers and secondary help might seem like more pressing needs, let’s not forget that during the first 6 weeks, where the Colts went 1-5, one of the main issues was the drops of the receivers. Even though Luck can make any wideout look at least average, surrounding him with top tier talent would push the Colts offense to the next level.

Additionally, an explosive passing offense would also open up plenty of holes for the running game. If the Colts put Hilton, Ebron, and another blue-chip prospect on the field, then opposing defenses will be unable to stack the box.

In conclusion, I think the Colts have to draft a receiver in the early rounds and could also take another one in the later ones, as it will push the offense to a different level and will result in Andrew Luck being a serious contender for the MVP award.