INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts view Kylen Granson as a missing ingredient in the kitchen of Frank Reich.
Granson gives the Colts a player they think can excel against defenses sticking to their base personnel and willing to play man coverage against Indianapolis.
When the Colts started scouting the 6-1, 241-pound Granson, who is a former wide receiver, they were quickly drawn towards him due to his speed.
“A little bit undersized, but a total mismatch tight end,” is the description on Granson by assistant director of college scouting Matt Terpening. “His main trait that drew him to us was his speed. He’s got big-time speed.
“He’s got excellent hands and route feel. He had 15 touchdowns his last two years (at SMU). He can beat linebackers in coverage and that’s imperative of the ‘F’ tight end position. We may flex that guy out to the slot. He may be against a more athletic safety. He’s got to be able to win on third down and catch the ball, and he can definitely do that.”
With the Colts doing homework on Granson mentally, curious about his capacity to learn different positions across their offense, they felt good about him having a specific fit to their system.
The Colts know that Granson is not going to be lining up in-line for 90 percent of the game.
And that’s his biggest area of improvement at this level.
“(Granson’s) main issue with us is probably going to be having his hand down the whole time in a three-point stance and learning to block a little bit better,” Terpening says. “Now, he tries hard. He plays some fullback, some H-back, played some receiver, plays all these different spots, but that’s going to be his biggest hurdle, trying to learn how we want our tight ends to block.”
When the Colts chose Granson in the 4th round, the biggest knock on him was the chatter around his ability to catch the football.
In a marquee game against Cincinnati last season, Granson dropped several passes.
But the Colts are not worried, especially after seeing Granson work during the spring with them.
“You watch the Senior Bowl practices during the week, he caught the ball great,” Terpening adds of Granson. “It was against Cincinnati, he had two or three drops. We actually asked him about it and he was really honest.
“The hands are excellent (though). At the Pro Day, he caught the ball clean. At the Senior Bowl, we were fine with his hands. It’s not an issue at all.”
In drafting Granson, the Colts see him as an advanced (and younger) Trey Burton with more potential.
As long as Granson shows the NFL isn’t too big for him in camp/preseason, Reich is going to use this ingredient in 2021.