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Player Profile: Colts Tight End Jack Doyle

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NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Measurables

Height: 6’6” | Weight: 262lbs | Age: 28 | Experience: 6 years

College: Western Kentucky

Professional Transactions:

Signed by Tennessee Titans as an Undrafted Free Agent in 2013

Waived by Titans at the end of the 2013 preseason

Claimed off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts on September 1, 2013

Contract Terms:

3-Year $18.9M contract with $7.5M Guaranteed

NFL Career Stats:

78 Games | 36 Starts | 174 Receptions | 1483 Receiving Yards | 12 TDs | 3 Fumbles

Accolades:

2017 Pro Bowl Selection


What People Are Saying About Jack Doyle

“Both Brissett and Andrew Luck have shown confidence in Doyle inside and outside the red zone, and Doyle’s career 77% catch rate illustrates why. He’s a reliable target. That catch rate is best in the NFL among non-running backs with at least 200 targets in league history.”

-Warren Sharp

“One of the best teammates I’ve ever been on a football team with”

-Frank Gore

“He’s Mr. Fundamental around here”

-T.Y. Hilton on why he calls Jack Doyle Tim Duncan

Doyle’s Impact on the field

Jack Doyle is part man, part myth in Indianapolis. The guy went from undrafted free agent who couldn’t make the roster in Tennessee, to one of Andrew Luck’s favorite weapons. He is the kind of guy who keeps his head down and works. More importantly, he is the guy you throw to when you have to have a play. The guy even inspired his own t-shirt.

Doyle is a local success story, and an understandable fan favorite. Let’s take a look at why he is so valuable to this Colts team.

Strengths

Like the shirt says, Jack Doyle can do it all. The person who coined the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” was literally talking about Jack Doyle. Here we see him pull from the right side to block on a run play and keep Gore moving downfield.

Later in that same game, Doyle proves himself a red zone weapon by going up and getting a touchdown on an imperfectly thrown back shoulder fade.

He proved himself time and again to be a reliable weapon, and no one can say Andrew Luck made him, because he had a career year with Jacoby Brissett under center. A solid route runner, Doyle routinely finds himself open setting up in the middle of the field and finding holes in opposing defensive zone coverage. His ability to get open in the short middle of the field has made him almost like a safety blanket for both Luck and Brissett.

This play is a perfect example of how Luck looked to Jack Doyle in high pressure moments. In their first game of the 2016 season against the Detroit Lions, the Colts had trailed and Luck marched them down the field late in the 4th quarter. Dwayne Allen, who was still on the team at that time, had the hot hand and seemed uncoverable that game, but it was Jack Doyle that got the touchdown to take the lead. If only he also played defense, they might have held that lead, but I digress.

As I listed in the form of Warren Sharp’s quote above, Doyle has exceptional hands. It is rare for him to bobble passes, fumble the ball, or drop a pass. While the expectation with any NFL caliber pass catcher is that they catch what hits their hands, Doyle actually lives up to that hype nearly all the time. That makes him an invaluable part of the Colts’ offense.

Weaknesses

While Jack Doyle is an excellent pass catcher and about as reliable a teammate and contributor as you can find, his lack of athleticism hurts. He isn’t exactly what you’d call a dynamic playmaker, and he isn’t really stretching the field.

Doyle’s career long in terms of passes is 24 yards, and his average yards after the catch is 4. That isn’t all that bad, it isn’t his role. However, his inability to offer a more varied ability on the field limits what he can do. Doyle tends to go down where he catches the ball. He doesn’t break a ton of tackles and he isn’t blazing up field for big gains. It is why Eric Ebron was brought in this offseason. Although if the fact that you are consistently good but not elite is your biggest detractor, you’re in pretty good shape.

Expectations

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC vs AFC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Doyle didn’t suffer statistically from the loss of Andrew Luck, but I expect that his return and the addition of Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni leading the offense will continue to help his production along. Luck will be looking early and often to his most familiar and reliable targets, and that means that T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle will be getting lots of looks as Luck tries to get himself back into the groove of being an NFL quarterback.

I don’t expect his production to be dramatically higher than in the past few years, simply because the addition of Ebron and a collection of talented young running backs may take away some of his looks as the year goes on. Still, Reich’s offense tends to favor tight ends, so there will be plenty of opportunity for Doyle to have another great season.


2018 Predictions

70 Receptions | 600 Yards Receiving | 5 Touchdowns