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PFF Names Colts Wideout Michael Pittman Jr. as the Team’s ‘Most Improved Player’ in 2021

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Indianapolis Colts v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

According to PFF, Indianapolis Colts wideout Michael Pittman Jr. was his team’s ‘most improved player’ during the 2021 season—showing significant signs of growth in his sophomore campaign:


PFF Grade change from 2020 to 2021: 62.8 → 78.0 (+15.2)

Pittman became the reliable possession receiver the team drafted him to be last year. He was one of the 10 most productive wide receivers in the NFL against zone coverage this season. Pittman generated 2.17 yards per route run against zone and finished with the seventh-most yards (458) by finding soft spots in the coverage. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound receiver also stood strong in contested scenarios, catching 18 of 28 such targets.

Pittman finished as PFF’s 20th best graded wideout overall.

Pittman Jr. led the Colts in targets (129), receptions (88), receiving yards (1,082), and touchdown receptions (6) during 17 starts in 2021. He was the first Colts receiver to eclipse 1,000+ receiving yards in a season since T.Y. Hilton back in 2018.

Some of this can be attributed to starting quarterback Carson Wentz for failing to anticipate open reads, but no other Colts receiver even eclipsed 400 receiving yards this past season (as Indianapolis was the only team to accomplish such a forgettable feat).

At 6’4”, 223 pounds, Pittman is a big bodied possession wideout that is beginning to breakout as a downfield and red zone threat—and rightfully so, with his sheer stature.

Keeping at his current pace, his third year will likely be his best season with the Colts yet—especially if the Colts can get more consistent starting quarterback play going forward.