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Ashton Dulin Colts
NFL

Colts’ Ashton Dulin Poised For Breakout Season In 2022

  • Ryan Fowler
  • August 19, 2022
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It hasn’t been pretty at the wideout spot for the Indianapolis Colts in recent years. While the days of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne remain fresh in the minds of Colts faithful near and far, it’s been Michael Pittman Jr. aaaaand… little to nothing else on the perimeter the last couple seasons.

An offensive attack headlined by running back Jonathan Taylor, the aerial game is expected to receive a jolt in the form of Matt Ryan this fall—the third consecutive season in which general manager Chris Ballard has opted to ‘Rent-a-Vet’ following pit stops from Philip Rivers (2020) and Carson Wentz (2021). The emergence of the Colts’ youth-infused receiving corps should allow Frank Reich’s unit to compete for an AFC South title this season.

Entering his fourth season, snaps have been few and far between for wide receiver Ashton Dulin. A UDFA out of Malone University (Ohio), 2022 could finally represent the breakout campaign he’s been eyeing.

In a spry wideouts room that also includes Alec Pierce and Parris Campbell, Dulin has made it a habit of putting corners on a highlight reel this summer. Another talent above the 6-foot threshold that Ballard drools over—more on that later—Dulin’s playmaking ability has yet to earn the number of snaps in the regular season that would offer coaches the ideal evaluation window. 243 yards in three seasons is nothing to write home about, and while the team is still holding out hope that Campbell could become the dynamic threat they thought he would become out of Ohio State, Dulin deserves an opportunity to compete. The worst thing in the world is wasted talent and the Colts don’t have the luxury right now of keeping their horses in the stable. 

A unit that touts athletes at 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5, and 6-foot-7, you’d think I was about to introduce you to the starting five for the NBA’s Indianapolis Pacers, not an NFL pass-catchers room. Let’s break it down.

The 53rd overall selection in this year’s draft, Pierce joins Pittman Jr. as a potential match made in heaven for Ryan. Two aerial artists with the hands and playmaking ability to dominate on the perimeter, Pierce’s addition has been often overlooked early in preseason conversations. Two talents with nearly 13 feet of man between the two of them, throwing the 6-foot-4 presence of Dezmon Patmon and 6-foot-5 Mike Strachan (a seventh-rounder in 2021) into the mix could present teams with a case of pick your poison if Reich deploys some unique 02 personnel (0 RBs, 2 TEs, 3 WRs) with tight ends Mo Alie-Cox (6-foot-5), and Jelani Woods (6-foot-7). Although defenses around the league have become quicker, lighter, and faster to counter the ever-evolving offensive games scattered around football, size matters both inside and outside the hashes. And when it comes to teams countering the vertical stature of the Colts—and when you add in Dulin’s makeup on the outside—Ryan will be consistently presented with advantageous matchups across the board on any down and distance he faces this fall. 

For Dulin, a talent flying under the radar as someone that could fit the shoes of Zach Pascal—and potentially more—an uptick in snaps with Ryan under center could see him enjoy a productive 2022 campaign.

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Ryan Fowler