As some of you noted, I omitted talking about the tight ends in my last article about receivers. Never fear, now is the time to talk about the tight ends!
As a whole, I think the word that sums up the tight end squad this year is: unexpected.
Going into the season, the Colts had committed to Dwayne Allen over Coby Flenner, letting the former Stanford product walk. It was a decision where it seemed the Colts went for the player with more upside and talent, but also more of an injury history.
So let’s talk about Allen. Considering he was pegged as the top tight end, after letting Fleener walk, I think expectations were a little higher for Allen.
And I hesitate to say that he delivered.
Allen missed a substantial amount of the season with injury (again) and only came down with 35 catches for 406 yards and six scores. Keep in mind, three of Allen’s touchdowns came in the throttling of the Jets on Monday Night.
Taking out that Jets game, Allen only finishes with 336 yards and three scores. Not great for a top tight end option.
But blocking you say? Isn’t that part of the reason Allen was kept over Fleener? Well yes.
For the most part, Allen was again effective in blocking. However, most of the time we only talked about Allen when he was blown up by elite NFL pass rushers (like Jadeveon Clowney). Now, it isn’t Allen’s fault that the coaching staff put him one on one against some of the best pass rushers in the game, but Allen was shredded in those situations.
And in case you were wondering. Fleener finished the season with 631 yards and three touchdowns. So it’s not like the Colts sorely missed his production.
If I had asked you, going into the season, who would be second on the Colts in passes caught and yards, and third in touchdowns, you likely would not have said Jack Doyle.
And yet, it was Doyle.
The tight end did everything the Colts asked, and was looked at fairly consistently in the clutch along with T.Y. Hilton. In fact, in 14 of his games Doyle had multiple catches.
Doyle also served as an adequate blocking tight end when needed. In other words, he did a little bit of everything.
I, for one, was excited about the late season emergence of Swoope. A project player from Miami who had never played football until the Colts signed him.
It took Swoope a long time to see the field, and when he did in the pre-season he was underwhelming at best. As the season progressed, though, Swoope became more and more involved with the offense.
The Colts third tight end finished with 297 yards and a score, and most of that was in the tail end of the season.
Overall Position Grade: B-
I know a lot of you have said in the comments that my grades are a little too high. I think that’s accurate for this post in particular. I couldn’t quite grade the tight ends lower than this, though. A C+ just seemed too extreme.