The Indianapolis Colts did not have a selection in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but they drafted Michael Pittman Jr. with their first selection in the second round.
— NFL (@NFL) April 24, 2020
Before the draft, Pro Football Focus described the USC wide receiver as the “perfect fit” for the Colts.
Indianapolis was in prime position to draft both Pittman and Jonathan Taylor in the second round because of general manager Chris Ballard’s brilliant trades:
So essentially Chris Ballard traded
2018 RD1 P3 (Sam Darnold)
2019 RD1 P26 (Montez Sweat)
Marvell Tell III
Michael Pittman Jr
— Party At The Moon Tower (@AM_Colts) April 24, 2020
Not mentioned in the tweet is Ballard’s acquisition of DeForest Buckner in exchange for the Colts’ 2020 first round selection.
During the first day of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins traded their 2020 second round selection, which became Pittman, to the Colts.
Cornerback Greedy Williams (No. 46 draft pick in 2019) was also involved in the trade that sent the Colts’ 2019 first round selection to Washington.
The player the Redskins selected in 2019 was Montez Sweat (No. 26 draft pick).
What The Colts Are Getting In Michael Pittman Jr.
Pittman is truly an impressive receiving talent, and he will add a tremendous set of hands to the Colts offense.
Pittman has great speed as well: his three-cone drill time of 6.96 seconds ranked as the best fourth-best time at the 2020 NFL Combine.
First-year Colts quarterback Philip Rivers will be able to air it out to Pittman:
— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) April 27, 2020
Pittman can fit the role as the deep threat receiver for the Colts.
In a similar role with the 2019 Los Angeles Chargers, Mike Williams registered a career-best season.
Williams brought in 1,001 receiving yards and an NFL-best 20.4 yards per reception with Rivers under center.
In 2018, Pittman’s 18.5 yards per reception led the Pac-12.
During his junior season, he also was 10th in the Pac-12 with 758 receiving yards and eighth in the conference with six receiving touchdowns.
Then Pittman exploded in his senior season at USC.
He led the conference in receptions (101) and receiving yards (1,275).
Pittman also finished with the second-most touchdown receptions (11) in the Pac-12.
In terms of NCAA rankings, he was in the top five in receptions and top 10 in receiving yards.
What are Pittman’s Expectations for His Rookie Season?
Not only can Pittman bring in deep passes, but he also showed a flash of return excellence.
In 2017, the 10-2 USC Trojans defeated the visiting UCLA Bruins, 28-23.
Although Pittman brought in just one pass in the game, he was responsible for the first score.
With 9:12 remaining in the first quarter, he brought a punt back 72 yards to give the No. 12 Trojans the early lead.
Pittman had just six punt returns and one kickoff return during his time at USC, but he could bring some of his return game to Indianapolis.
Even if Reich would prefer to keep him just as a receiver, there is no problem with trying to prevent him from being injured.
He was a two-time First-Team All-Pac-12 receiver and a 2019 Second-Team All-American.
Pittman, who is the son of Super Bowl XXXVII champion Michael Pittman Sr., plays a different from his father, who played as a running back for three NFL teams.
While the father and son went different ways for college, Pittman Jr. hopes he also is a Super Bowl champion.
He will be an important asset for Indianapolis and if he is a Pro Bowler within his first few years in the league, he can contribute to a Super Bowl contending Colts team.