According to PFF, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Parris Campbell is the one free agent that the team should pursue headed into the 2023 offseason:
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: WIDE RECEIVER PARRIS CAMPBELL
After years of unfortunate injuries, Campbell stayed healthy in 2022 and performed like the receiver Indianapolis hoped they’d be bringing aboard when they drafted him in the second round in 2019. Campbell recorded more receptions, yards and touchdowns this year than in his three prior seasons combined.
With one of the league’s most expensive offensive lines, Indianapolis can’t afford to spend too much elsewhere on the offense, especially with a major extension on the way for Michael Pittman Jr. He and 2022 rookie Alec Pierce can win down the field on the outside, particularly Pierce, which will create room for Campbell over the middle. Campbell hauled in 74.1% of his targets in 2022, a top-20 mark among wide receivers, and deserves the opportunity to take another step in 2023 with the team that stood by him through his rehabilitation.
Campbell is in a Colts’ pending 2023 free agent class that also includes: Ashton Dulin, Chase McLaughlin, Rodney McLeod, Yannick Ngakoue, Bobby Okereke, E.J. Speed, and Tyquan Lewis among others—although both offensively and defensively.
Campbell, as a 25 year old former 2019 second round pick of the Colts, had seen his early career limited by a number of various injuries, but just played his first full season in 2022.
In a breakout campaign, Campbell caught a career best 63 receptions for 623 receiving yards (9.9 ypr. avg.) and 3 touchdown receptions during 17 games (16 starts).
That was with inconsistent starting quarterback play too, and largely with a ‘twilight of his playing career’ veteran Matt Ryan, with a diminished arm, making 12 starts this past season. It’s intriguing to think about what the blazing fast Campbell could do consistently as a deep threat with a stronger armed passer under center going forward.
The previously injury plagued Campbell had been much maligned as a draft selection by Colts general manager Chris Ballard, having been chosen over the likes of Terry McLaurin and D.K. Metcalf during the 2019 NFL Draft.
That being said, while he’s still behind those peers in career production, it’s possible that he could be something of a ‘late bloomer’ at the NFL level—if his early career injuries are truly behind him.
Re-signing Campbell makes sense for the Colts, if the price is right, with the understanding that his best football may still be well ahead of him.