Parris Campbell was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the hopes that his down field speed would bring even more explosion to an Indianapolis Colts offense coming off a divisional round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Campbell struggled to stay healthy, but after three injury riddled seasons he finally hit his stride in 2022. Playing in all 17 games, Campbell caught 63 of his 91 targets for 623 yards and three touchdowns. Campbell’s stats were even more impressive considering the state of the Colts’ offense.
But the four-year veteran is set to hit the market in March, and with a new regime in Indianapolis, he could be on the outside looking in. So who can the Colts bring in to replace his 980 offensive snaps?
When comparing Hyatt and Campbell as prospects, you immediately notice their blazing speed and explosiveness. Campbell operated out of the slot about 82% of the time according to Pro Football Focus and many draft pundits believe that Hyatt will be best served out of the slot due to lack of exposure to press coverage in college.
Hyatt racked up 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air, averaging 18.9 yards per catch. With his downfield ability and legitimate 4.3 speed, it is easy to imagine Hyatt dominating in Steichen’s vertical passing offense.
A similar prospect to Hyatt, Reed is explosive but is not expected to have quite the top gear that Hyatt possesses. But rather, Reed is a technician of a route runner. Another slot receiver by nature at 5’10, 185 pounds, Reed would be vastly different from the big-bodied Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce. But Steichen used Devonta Smith’s small stature to its maximum, so odds are he could do the same with Reed.
A three-year contributor at Michigan State, Reed had a down-year in 2022, tallying only 636 yards compared to his 1,026 yards in 2021. During the Senior Bowl, Reed dominated in one-on-ones and drastically improved his draft stock. He could work his way into the second-round, but may be available in the third or fourth depending on his athletic testing.
Perhaps the most likely option is already on the roster. Steichen did everything he could to get tight end Dallas Goedert the ball in Philadelphia. And odds are he will do the same with freak athlete Jelani Woods. Woods had an impressive rookie season despite lack of playing time. With only 25 receptions, Woods had 312 yards and three touchdowns, including a game winner against Kansas City.
With a 6’7”, 259 pounds frame paired with a 4.61 40-yard dash, Woods is the ultimate mismatch. Steichen’s offense heavily utilized Goedert in the slot instead of a true receiver and Woods has a chance to be special in a similar role.
Maybe a far-fetched pipe dream for is Keenan Allen. A 10-year veteran, Allen is expected to be a cap-causality in Los Angeles. And it just so happens that Steichen mentioned him by name during his introductory press conference.
After a nagging hamstring injury forced him to miss seven games in 2022, Allen still put up over 750 yards and four touchdowns. In a wide receiver room led by a three-year vet in Pittman Jr., Allen would be a much needed veteran presence to help teach the young guns even more tricks of the trade.