Colts Draft USC’s Michael Pittman Jr.

by killyp

Photo Credit: USC Athletics

The University of Southern California has delivered seven wide receivers to the NFL through the draft since 2010. Michael Pittman, Jr. is now continuing the trend.

A former All-American by Parade and Max Preps, Pittman, Jr. got the attention of collegiate coaches as a four-star recruit in 2016. He initially committed to play for UCLA but eventually ended up at USC. This past fall, he won the 2019 Pop Warner National College Football Award, given to a graduating senior who has excelled on the football field, in the classroom and community. He was also a second-team All-American last season and is a 2-time All Pac-12 receiver.

Strengths

With a 6-4, 224 pound build, this 4-year Trojan can rise above most cornerbacks to high-point seemingly uncatchable balls. He is very good at beating press coverage at the line and rarely drops a pass. Pittman led the Pac-12 in 2019 with 101 catches and 1,275 yards, and finished second with 11 touchdowns. Pittman proved in college that he can be a reliable receiver and a quarterback’s best friend. His drop rate of 2.7% might be even more impressive than the amount of catches he pulled in. He also is a good stalk blocker in the run game, using his size to be tough and physical on cornerbacks.

Weaknesses

While Pittman is great at beating press coverage, he does lack the breakaway speed that guys like Henry Ruggs III and CeeDee Lamb have. He can run every route, but even with a good first step on the snap, he needs to add that burst of speed to his game to be efficient in truly stretching the field.


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Team Fit

The Colts got a reliable pass catcher to start across from T.Y. Hilton. Big game receiver? How about 10 catches for 232 yards against Utah. Or 13 catches for 146 yards against Arizona State. When USC needed immediate offense, Pittman Jr. was the guy. His 40-time of 4.52 wasn’t jaw-dropping, but when you consider his hands and his agility, it forms a nice combination for a potential number 1 receiver. Phillip Rivers has a great set of receivers to throw to now!

 

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