Zach Pascal did not follow a traditional route to the NFL. Pascal was not a heavily recruited prospect coming out of Dr. Henry Wise (Upper Marlboro, MD) High School and he wasn’t even rated on recruiting sites such as 247Sports when he signed with the Old Dominion Monarchs over light interest from schools such as Maryland, Rutgers, and Pitt.
At 6-foot-1 and 176s pounds, Pascal was far from the finished product when he reached college. Playing for the Monarchs soon after their transition to the FBS, Pascal had a wildly successful career with the school. The former first-team all-county and third-team all-state high school star burst onto the scene as a sophomore where he pulled in 59 receptions for 743 yards and seven touchdowns. His yardage production peaked as a junior where he pulled in 69 targets for 975 yards and eight scores, while it was his senior season that saw Pascal reach the end zone the most through the air as he had nine touchdowns receiving to go with 946 yards on 65 catches. This was his best yards per catch season too as he averaged 14.6 yards with each grab.
Pascal – a player proudly wearing his LOUDMOUTH mouthguard (check out products like the Flying Tiger for a seriously awesome way to protect your teeth) – finished his college career with almost 3,000 total yards from scrimmage and 25 total touchdowns. He also was a big contributor for the Monarchs in their first ever bowl game where they bested Eastern Michigan in the 2016 Bahamas Bowl. In that game Pascal gained 78 yards and scored a touchdown.
Even with that production and success, Pascal had to find his niche in the NFL the hard way. ODU isn’t a school that the NFL scouts look at on the same level as others in the FBS just yet and there were questions about the standard of competition that Pascal faced in terms of defensive backs in Conference USA. One thing that was working for Pascal is that he had put on weight and bulk thanks to the benefits of a college conditioning program and he now cuts an impressive figure at 6-foot-2 and 214 pounds.
Pascal’s first shot at making it to the big time was with the Washington Football team where he signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. This shot didn’t last long – he was waived by the team on September 2 of that year, but he was immediately picked up by the Tennessee Titans, where he was mainly a practice squad guy. After being cut for the second time in his career on June 14, 2018, Pascal finally landed somewhere he could succeed as the Indianapolis Colts – a division rival of the Titans – claimed him off of waivers. Following a full offseason program with the franchise, Pascal made the 53 man roster for the 2018 season.
The Colts like to use Pascal in a number of ways to complement their other wide receivers. He will often lineup in the slot – where he is a guaranteed matchup problem because of his size – and they also like to use him as a lead blocker because of his agility and ability to win one-on-one battles in space. Pascal’s best season (so far) as a Colt came in 2019 where e played all 16 games and caught 41 passes for 607 yards and five touchdowns. In three seasons with the team he has over 1,000 yards receiving and nine touchdowns, averaging 12.8 yards per catch. Pascal – a restricted free agent that the Colts are expected to keep – will only grow into his role in Year 4 as a dynamic threat all over the field.