To paraphrase John Oehser, tight end is a hidden need for the Colts as the team beings its campaign to return to the Super Bowl. One the surface, the Colts are set as Dallas Clark, a player who could eventually be inducted into the Hall of Fame, holds the starting position. This is what many casual mockers see and many don’t even have the Colts taking a TE in the entire draft.
However, many of us know better. We see the storm clouds on the horizon. Dallas Clark is entering his 8th season and tight ends have a major drop-off rate as the head toward the end of their careers. Tom Santi, Dallas’s back-up, has shown flashes of being at least a serviceable hybrid-style tight end, but has had difficulty staying healthy. Gjion Robinson has been a less than stellar blocking TE/H-Back roll and Jacob Tamme appears to be unable to push Robinson from the spot. TE depth is a huge issue facing the Colts moving forward.
I see the Colts getting two new TE’s during this draft. I see a hybrid-style successor to Dallas Clark in the third or fourth and an in-line blocker in either the 7th or undrafted (ordinarily I would say the 6th, but there is no 6th rounder this year). Personally, I think the hybrid-style will be Dennis Pitta. He’ll have a year or two to improve on his blocking and, more importantly, he has Dallas-like speed with excellent hands. I also think Austin Collie’s recommendation will carry weight with the front office. Polian signed Lacey after last year’s draft partly because of Bullitt’s recommendation. As for an in-line blocker, I like Garrett Graham out of Wisconsin. Sure handed to run the underneath routes with excellent experience blocking ends and linebackers.
While we have all been talking about needing a new in-line blocking TE, there has been little discussion about a receiving hybrid TE. I fully expect that position to be the annual "Why in the world did Polian make that pick?" Feel free to discuss below