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INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts’ draft pick drought at tight end is over.

With the 127th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Colts took SMU tight end Kylen Granson in Round Four.

Here are 3 takeaways on Granson:

 

1. Athletic Tight End

Not only was tight end something to address for the Colts in this 2021 draft, but the type of TE that Kylen Granson is fits what Indy needed. Granson finished his college career (with stops at both Rice and SMU) with 129 catches for 1,879 yards and 16 touchdowns. He averaged 16.1 yards per catch in his final two seasons of college, which is a very impressive big play number from the tight end position. At 6-1 and 241 pounds, Granson is not known for his blocking. Instead, he’s a tight end that brings really impressive short area quickness and some ability vertically, and even in the open field. That’s important to diversifying the Colts current tight end group and playing into the strength of Carson Wentz as a strong seam ball thrower. Granson did battle some drops in college. But Frank Reich has stated before he can live with that, if you are going to provide some big plays (think Eric Ebron).

 

2. Impact Early, Needed Long-Term

Granson, a Senior Bowl participant, walks into a tight end room with Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox returning. But even a 3rd string tight end can make an early impact in Reich’s offense. As stated above, Granson is a different skillset than Doyle and Alie-Cox and that’s key for Reich’s personnel having some variety. Long-term, it was important for the Colts to find a tight end in the draft, versus free agency. The Colts needed to get younger at this position, and also insert someone into the tight end room who complements the others. Skill position support for Carson Wentz this offseason hasn’t been as abundant as even Jim Irsay wanted, but this is a small step in that. Granson is a guy who could very well be involved in various packages as a rookie.

 

3. Tight End Drought Over

The longest drought in the NFL is now over. The Colts hadn’t drafted a tight end since 2013 (Justice Cunningham in Round 7). While Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox are a fine duo at the top of the tight end depth chart, their futures in Indy aren’t definites. Doyle has two years remaining on his contract, but he turns 31 next week. Alie-Cox is just 27, but hasn’t established himself as an unquestioned No. 1 tight end of the future. The Colts needed to add some youth and pop to a position group that Frank Reich loves to use, and isn’t afraid to go deep into the depth chart either on game day.