The 2019 Indianapolis Colts struggled to move the ball through the air. Although quarterback play was a major factor, so too was the lack of talent behind T.Y. Hilton. Second-round pick Michael Pittman brings size and reliable hands to the outside. The Colts returned to the Pac-12 conference for Washington State’s Dezmon Patmon, who joined Pittman in Indy at pick 212. While both players are big and tall, Patmon’s playing style and consistency are not quite on par. Still, he has a chance to make the Colts’ roster and add value in the red zone.
The most notable aspect of Patmon’s game is his stature. He is 6’4″ and 225 pounds. Smaller corners better hope for poor throws in their direction, because if it goes to the right spot, Patmon is coming down with it. Remember, for most of his career, Philip Rivers has been throwing to Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson, and Keenan Allen. All of them are at least 6’3″. Pittman and Patmon (say that five times fast) bring the size that Rivers did not initially have when he signed as a free agent. Both should combine to fill the role occupied by Eric Ebron in recent years.
What a grab by Dezmon Patmon! pic.twitter.com/L6eN6XRScf
— Sports Daily (@SportsDGI) December 29, 2018
At the combine in February, Patmon ran his 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds, which was a few ticks faster than Pittman. As such, his run-after-catch ability is also a little better. He can separate from trailing defensive backs to find open grass to the end zone. With such long strides, he covers ground effortlessly and appears to be moving slower than he is. NFL defenders will take better angles than he saw in college, but he is still a viable threat in the open field.
No one catching Dezmon Patmon! #Pac12FB
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) September 1, 2019
This is where Patmon’s game veers from Pittman’s. While the latter brought down everything thrown his way, the former left plenty of receptions on the field. In Mike Leach’s “air raid” offense at Washington State, Patmon had no shortage of targets. Disappointingly, he went over 100 yards only once his senior year, against lowly New Mexico State. Furthermore, he was held out of the end zone against the four best defenses he faced: Utah, Oregon, California, and Washington. Pittman, for comparison, lit up Utah for 232 yards and a score on 10 catches. Patmon can’t shrink against superior competition. In the NFL, he will be eaten alive.
Despite the frequent comparisons to Pittman in this article, Patmon is his own man. He will need to carve his own path in Indianapolis, and he has a better-than-average shot at sticking on the final roster. He would be well served to build a rapport with both Rivers and Jacob Eason as soon as possible. If he can prove his drops and inconsistent play are behind him, he could be the steal of the draft.