Robinson credits the arrival of new starting veteran quarterback Matt Ryan, who will bring much needed consistency, reliability, and accuracy to the passing pocket in Indianapolis—especially compared to his volatile predecessor Carson Wentz.
It’s also a ‘good’ Colts offense that features All-Pro workhorse Jonathan Taylor, a talented offensive line, and a productive play caller when it comes to head coach Frank Reich—with some other weapons who shouldn’t be slept upon either (including Nyheim Hines, Alec Pierce, Parris Campbell [*if he can stay healthy], and some intriguing massive tight ends).
It’s the ‘dog days of the offseason,’ the lull before NFL training camps start, and even if the humid July heat may have gotten to Robinson a bit with this somewhat overzealous ranking, and ‘hot take’ (and this is coming from a big-time Colts fan), it’s not out of the question that Pittman Jr. could at least become a Top 10 . . . maybe even Top 7 NFL wideout consistently from a production standpoint in 2022.
However, I still believe the Colts will be largely a run-heavy offense with Taylor and Hines, meaning that there may simply be less opportunities through the air for Pittman Jr. compared to some of the NFL’s elite wideouts who are deployed in more pass happy offenses with a greater volume of targets and big play opportunities.
Ryan’s anticipated addition should only help Pittman Jr.’s play on the field though—as he knows a thing or two about effectively throwing to big bodied wideouts (see: Julio Jones):
Michael Pittman Jr.— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) May 25, 2022
On Matt Ryan’s accuracy: you just catch it, turn and run pic.twitter.com/zpRl5hVWfJ
Last year Michael Pittman Jr. saw 26% of the Colts targets and 30% of their receiving yards - both ranked in the Top-10. He got a QB upgrade in Matt Ryan who threw out wide 45% of the time (Wentz 39%), Pittman lined up wide on 81% of his routes— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) June 10, 2022
All that to say get very excited! pic.twitter.com/PuXrXozaqL
I'm watching back through Michael Pittman Jr.'s 2021 tape and words cannot express how excited I am for him this year with Matt Ryan.— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) May 12, 2022
Matt Ryan was more accurate than Carson Wentz at nearly every level of the field in 2021.— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) March 28, 2022
Adj com% (removes drops/throwaways)
1 to 9: +0%
10 to 19: +9%
Accurate (receiver frame): +5%
Upgrade for Michael Pittman, Jr.
The Michael Pittman Jr. hype is justified.— Frank Ammirante (@FAmmiranteTFJ) April 8, 2022
He had a 25.75% target share with over 30% of the air yards in Year 2.
Pittman now gets an upgrade at QB with Matt Ryan.
The Colts will likely pass at a higher rate with a more dependable passer.
He's going to pop off this year.
That being said, I’m all for the ‘full steam ahead, hype train’ that is Pittman Jr.’s surging stock ahead of the 2022 campaign (I mean, get shares while you still can, folks)—as he should be poised for a significant third-year leap in production with a former NFL MVP now at the helm, and throwing him tight spirals in the process.