2 unheralded pass-catchers making noise at Colts training camp
When the Indianapolis Colts heartbreakingly missed out on the 2021 NFL Playoffs after an unconscionable loss to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, head coach Frank Reich and general manager Chris Ballard went back to the drawing board. They traded quarterback Carson Wentz, brought in QB Matt Ryan, and added or re-upped several notable offensive weapons. Despite the big-name moves, reports from Colts training camp have unheralded pass-catchers Ashton Dulin and Andrew Ogletree making the biggest plays.
After trading for the four-time Pro Bowler Ryan, the Colts set out to put weapons around him. The organization already has superstar running back Jonathan Taylor and WR Michael Pittman Jr., a budding franchise pass-catcher.
This offseason, the team added Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce with its first pick in the second round. The Colts also took Virginia tight end Jelani Woods in Round 3. These players join WRs Pittman, Keke Coutee, and Parris Campbell and recently re-signed TE Mo Alie-Cox as Ryan’s presumed top targets in 2022.
However, despite better-known names ahead of them on the depth chart in Colts training camp, WR Ashton Dulin and TE Andrew Ogletree are the ones generating the most buzz.
Colts pass-catchers turning heads in 2022 training camp
TE Andrew Ogletree
Fifth-year tight end Mo Alie-Cox signed a three-year, $17.5 million deal this offseason and enters Colts training camp as the No. 1 player at his position. Right behind him is wildly big (6-foot-7) and athletic (4.61 40-yard dash), but raw TE Jelani Woods who Indy took No. 73 overall in the 2022 draft.
One hundred and nineteen picks later the Colts selected TE Andrew Ogletree out of the FCS school Youngstown State.
Ogletree has NFL size at 6-foot-5, 261-pounds, but he didn’t dominate at the FCS level like you’d want an NFL prospect to do. His less than enthusiastic NFL.com scouting report simply reads, “Ogletree is plenty athletic as a route runner, but his hands are poor and he doesn’t catch through congestion effectively. Without NFL blocking talent, he’s just an impressive athlete with no real production for evaluators to rally behind.”
Despite the lackluster pedigree, Ogletree is standing out at Colts training camp.
Rook got UP. 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/eaXd0R1fFq
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 4, 2022
Ogletree’s hands certainly haven’t looked “poor” so far in camp. He’s made several impressive catches, including a jumping one-hander between two defenders on Friday. Reports have the 24-year-old Ohio native already working his way up the Colts depth chart.
WR Ashton Dulin
Another player turning heads at Colts training camp with spectacular catches is fourth-year veteran Ashton Dulin.
Dulin signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted rookie in 2019 out of Divison II Malone University in Canton, Ohio. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound wideout made just five catches for 70 yards in his first two seasons. In 2021, though, he showed some promise, pulling in 3 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns.
In the 2022 offseason, Dulin signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract to stay with the Colts for another season.
What a catch. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/FNcdsYyveH
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 3, 2022
Heading into Colts training camp, Michael Pittman Jr., Keke Coutee, Parris Campbell, and Alec Pierce all looked to be ahead of Dulin on the Colts depth chart. However, the wideout seems to quickly be moving up that list.
“I cannot emphasize how strongly we feel about Ashton Dulin. He’s going to play a role in this offense. He’s proven it. He’s earned it,” coach Frank Reich told the Indianapolis Star. “He’s a playmaker. We love him. We’re all planning on him making a significant contribution to not only special teams but to the offense this year.”
If unheralded pass-catchers like Dulin and Ogletree continue to develop for Matt Ryan in 2022, the Colts’ big offseason moves should pay off, and the team won’t miss the playoffs again this year.