Considering that the Indianapolis Colts have now had three different starting quarterbacks in my three years of writing about the team, I’ve come to realize that signing or trading for a new quarterback is a lot like getting a new cell phone.
The phone itself is an exciting purchase. You’ve heard all about what the iPhone or android can do on it’s own with its service speed, picture quality, and other features. But after about a week or so, you come to realize that your new phone is only going to be as good as what you use it for.
If you’re not one to take a lot of pictures, maybe getting the phone with the best camera isn’t necessary. Or maybe there’s a specific part of it that you find out you don’t really need to use. That’s the same with quarterback stuff.
When the New England Patriots signed Cam Newton, they realized that Cam’s style of play didn’t really fit Bill Belichick; Hence why Mac Jones stepped in the year after.
For the Colts acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons, I told you guys earlier this week that Ryan will be as good as what the Colts surround him with on the offensive side of the ball.
It’s pretty clear. Ryan is the phone model that probably won’t blow you away anymore, but it’s going to run like a horse and support every app you download.
That’s Matt Ryan.
“To follow in the same footsteps of Peyton Manning for me growing up was exactly who I wanted to be… Not a better mentor I could have asked to have had than him."
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 22, 2022
If Chris Ballard and the Colts give Ryan the big weapons that he can really use to his advantage, the Blue and White will be scary in 2022. There’s one guy that now sticks out as a enticing option to go after.
It sounds like Parker has now been leapfrogged, literally, by Tyreek Hill in Miami. The Dolphins also have stud Jaylen Waddle as their number-two. Plus they just signed Cedrick Wilson. That’s a pretty dynamic receiving room that now doesn’t have any space to support the work that Parker needs.
It’s no secret that Parker has been injury prone, but that didn’t prevent the Colts from bringing back T.Y. Hilton last year; And look what happened. Trading for Parker would certainly be a risk, but the dividends that he could pay would be enormous.
“There's a real chance Wilson will be the No. 2 receiver over DeVante Parker,who has lost significant explosiveness due to injuries since being selected in the first round in 2015. Parker may even be a training-camp cut if the Dolphins find younger alternatives”
-Bleacher Report pic.twitter.com/iW6SuDeRCZ
— Dolphin Nation (@Dolphin_Nation) March 22, 2022
Plus, depending on if Julio Jones would want to reunite with Matty Ice, could you imagine Parker along with Jones joining Michael Pittman Jr? Then you still have Parris Campbell as an option, then throw in Dezmon Patmon or Mike Strachan as the number-five.
It was as recent as 2019 when Parker posted over 1200 yards and nine touchdowns. Look at what he had around him in Miami in the last couple years as well. If you’re a weapon on the Dolphins, you haven’t had a lot of guys that can consistently get you the ball.
Enter, Matt Ryan.
It’s interesting to look at Ryan’s MVP year in 2016 and what he had at his disposal. Then if you also look at the production of Colts receivers last season, it’s nearly identical.
In 2016, Atlanta was led, of course, by Julio Jones. He was responsible for 1409 of Ryan’s 4944 passing yards that year. After that though, there was a steep drop off. The next top receiving totals by the Falcons came from Mohamed Sanu at 653, Taylor Gabriel posting 579, and Devonta Freeman totaling 462.
For the Colts this year, Pittman finished with 1082 receiving yards. The number-two spot also featured nearly a 700 yard cut, just like the Falcons. Zach Pascal totaled 384, Jonathan Taylor picked up 360, and Hilton had 331.
Obviously, that’s not going to cut it. And it’s remarkable that not only Ryan won the MVP, but Atlanta went to the Super Bowl with that little of depth available, especially at tight end.
Moral of the story – if the Colts really build the skill positions around Pittman, Taylor, and Nyheim Hines, it’s going to be spooky season for all opponents at Lucas Oil Stadium. If Ballard is able to finagle one of Parker or Jones (or both), that’s when Ryan can potentially put up something close to what he had in 2016.
After all, he says he feels spectacular both mentally and physically.