Colts Named Best Trade Fit for Former 1st-Round Wide Receiver

Frank Reich

Getty Head coach Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts could be a team looking to acquire a wide receiver before the NFL trade deadline.

Through 2 games, it appears that the Indianapolis Colts made a mistake not adding more experience to their wide receiver core before this season. But it’s not too late to remedy that error.

Midseason trades have become a more popular trend around the NFL over the last few years. Veteran receivers should be available from offenses that are not using them very much or from teams that have fallen out of the playoff hunt.

To stay in the postseason race themselves, NFL writer Kristopher Knox has argued the Colts should be shopping for a receiver on the trade market. One wideout that could catch their eye is former first-round pick Nelson Agholor.

Knox identified the Colts as the best fit for Agholor if the New England Patriots are interested in trading him during the season.

“The Indianapolis Colts could desperately use another receiver in their lineup,” Knox wrote. “With star wideout Michael Pittman Jr. sidelined in Week 2, their offense was a disaster. Matt Ryan was 16-of-30 for 195 yards and three interceptions, while Ashton Dulin and running back Nyheim Hines were the only Colts to top 30 receiving yards.”

What Agholor Would Bring to Colts

The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Agholor in the first round (20th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. He hasn’t really lived up to his first-round billing. Agholor has never posted a 900-yard or 65-reception season in his career.

But, he’s still put together a productive NFL career playing for the Eagles, Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders. In 2021, he recorded 37 catches, 473 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.

During Week 2, he led the Patriots to victory with 6 catches and 110 yards. Agholor scored New England’s first touchdown — a 44-yard grab — in the 17-14 win.

The Colts should be interested in a wideout who can make those kinds of plays. Other than Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis simply doesn’t have playmakers at receiver.

Nelson has 318 receptions, 4,022 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns in his career. If he joined the Indianapolis roster, he would vault up the Colts’ current receivers list, as the team’s active leader in career catches, yards and scores.

And while his 2021 numbers were rather modest, Agholor’s 473 yards last year would have been ranked second on the Colts behind only Pittman.

Colts Receiver Core Struggling

Indianapolis was hopeful that another offseason would be enough to develop a lot of the organization’s young receivers. Maybe that will still happen — after all, rookie Alec Pierce has only played 1 game — but through 2 weeks, it’s evident the Colts offense needs more weapons.

Pittman didn’t play in Week 2, yet he still leads Indianapolis receivers with 9 catches this season. He is also second in receiving yards while the team’s leader, Ashton Dulin, only has 4 more yards in 1 extra game.

Pittman and running back Jonathan Taylor are All-Pro-type of players. Fellow running back Nyheim Hines is an excellent pass catcher too. But the Colts need a complimentary weapon on the outside to take defenders away from the line of scrimmage and Pittman.

So far, Parris Campbell, who the Colts drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft, hasn’t done that. He has 3 catches for 37 yards this season and didn’t have a reception in Week 2.

Dulin and Mike Strachan are averaging more than 15 yards per catch, but they don’t appear to be open regularly. Strachan has just 5 targets in 2 games.

A veteran receiver such as Agholor won’t solve all of Indianapolis’ offensive concerns, but he could be part of the solution.

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