Starter: Eric Ebron
Bench: Jack Doyle (IR), Mo Alie-Cox, Erik Swoope, Ryan Hewitt
Had it not been for Jack Doyle’s kidney injury, the Colts may have had one of the best tight end duos in the NFL. Even without Doyle, Ebron managed to assert himself as one of the top 5 tight ends in the League.
Ebron recorded 14 total touchdowns, which was good for 5th in the league behind players like Saquon Barkley, Antonio Brown and Todd Gurley. He might have found a forever home in Indy, after a rocky start in Detroit, where the fans resisted him from the start.
Ebron was a key part of the Colts offense and also a vital member of the locker room, where his charismatic and enjoyable presence was felt throughout the season. Ebron is currently signed on a cheap $5.25 Million salary through the 19/20 season. He will be even more motivated next season and to secure a big paycheck, preferably one that keeps him wearing blue for a very long time.
Behind Ebron is fan favorite, Jack Doyle. Doyle was one of the only bright spots of the 4-12, 17/18 season, recording 80 catches for 690 yards and 4 scores. With only one year left in his contract, he will need to bounce back from his kidney injury and become a reliable chain-mover to secure his chance to stick in Indy — which he will most likely do.
With Doyle down, the Colts had guys like Mo Alie-Cox and Erik Swoope (before being waived) on the field often. Alie-Cox is still making the transition from basketball to football and showed improvement, but still needs something more to warrant a roster spot. Same could be said for Swoope (thought he may not return). Hewitt served as H-Back and as a blocking tight end, and was serviceable. He recorded one catch on the season, and he made it count — it resulted in a touchdown against the Titans in a playoff-clinching Week 17 win.
Overall, with the healthy return of Jack Doyle, the Colts are fine at tight end. Ebron will be the big vertical threat, while Doyle will play a bigger role in the run game and as a safe hands, check down type of guy. A third tight end that can do a little bit of both would be nice as insurance. Perhaps Lance Kendricks or Benjamin Watson could bring some veteran leadership?