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PFF Believes the Colts Michael Pittman Jr. Landed in the Most Ideal Situation Among Rookie Wideouts

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Notre Dame at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to Pro Football Focus, Indianapolis Colts wideout Michael Pittman Jr., who was the 34th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft out of USC, landed in the NFL’s most ideal situation among rookie wide receivers with new veteran starting quarterback Philip Rivers:


Look at every receiver who has had success with Philip Rivers over his career and the body types he targets most:

Keenan Allen (6-foot-2, 211 pounds)

Tyrell Williams (6-foot-4, 205 pounds)

Malcom Floyd (6-foot-5, 225 pounds)

Vincent Jackson (6-foot-5, 230 pounds)

Michael Pittman Jr.* (6-foot-4, 223 pounds)

While it could very well be a coincidence, the fact remains that Rivers has had a ton of success with bigger-bodied wideouts. The Colts didn’t have anything resembling Pittman’s skillset on the roster before drafting him, so he slides immediately into the possession role that Rivers covets.

The senior Trojans captain caught 101 receptions for 1,275 receiving yards (12.6 ypr. avg.) and 11 touchdown receptions during 13 starts this past season—earning First-Team All-Pac 12 honors and was also named a Second-Team All-American.

At 6’4”, 223 pounds, Pittman is the type of big bodied wideout that has historically thrived with Rivers (from Vincent Jackson to Malcom Floyd). He runs pretty well for his size (4.52 forty time) and can be a vertical, downfield threat with his ability to high point the football, fight through contact, and ‘above the rim’ receiving style—showing superb body control.

With his incredibly sure hands and smooth route running, Pittman should prove to be a reliable, big possession target for Rivers at all levels of the field—working the outside boundary. From that perspective (and with his ability to beat press coverage and attack secondaries vertically), Pittman appears to be a natural “X” wideout in the Colts offense next season—and should contribute immediately.

He’s also not afraid to mix it up—seeking out contact, showing nice yards after the catch ability as a tough wideout to bring down in space and is a physical run blocker along the perimeter.

Pittman will be playing on the other side of 4x Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton, and the two wideouts’ contrasting styles should complement each other well—while freeing up overall coverage.

Rivers has always had the wily gunslinger’s mentality, and the veteran quarterback isn’t afraid to take shots downfield and whip the football all over the field—which should mean ample opportunities for an already polished, physically imposing rookie wideout such as Pittman to make some serious (and immediate) noise during his debut season.