INDIANAPOLIS – In an offseason where the Colts didn’t make any substantial additions at wide receiver or tight end, a pair of Day 3 draft picks are in an interesting position.
Normally, expecting rookies chosen on the final day of the draft to impact right away isn’t smart.
But the Colts are intrigued by the first impressions made by TE-Kylen Granson (4th round) and WR-Mike Strachan (7th round).
Let’s begin with Granson, who is definitely the more likely of the two to play early on.
Granson brings a different skillset to what the Colts already have at tight end in Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox.
When the Colts pop on 2020 film of Trey Burton being used, they view Granson in a very similar role.
Even though the 6-1 Granson lacks the height component of a Doyle/Alie-Cox, he offers something after the catch that you don’t often see from the tight end position.
During the draft process, both Chris Ballard and Frank Reich reached out to those around the SMU program to make sure that Granson could handle the mental strain that can come with moving around in such a role.
“Kylen Granson is what we saw on tape. He’s an explosive athlete,” Reich said after observing the rookie on the field this spring. “We knew he was a real smart guy and he’s picking up the offense real fast.”
Playing time for Strachan in Year One always seemed like a long shot.
Here was a Division II prospect who last played a football game 19 months ago (November 16, 2019).
And while seeing where Strachan might find reps on a crowded wideout depth chart remains difficult, Strachan impressed the Colts early mentally, giving them an indication that the jump might not be as immense for him.
“Strachan, the size and speed and he’s got good short area quickness, he just has great competitive disposition as an athlete,” Reich says. “He’s really smart. So just really happy about the immediate impression he’s made.”
When free agency arrived in March, the Colts did not need to tap into a rather deep wideout market. Re-signing T.Y. Hilton was enough for them.
At tight end, they stayed away from that group, too.
When the draft rolled around, early picks were spent on the defense.
That’s what makes the situations of Granson and Strachan something to monitor after their strong early impressions.
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