clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What to expect this season: Tight ends

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout this series, I will outline what my best, middle, and worst case scenario is for each position group on the Colts. Today is Tight End.

(Disclaimer: injury is always the absolute worst case scenario, so we will talk about worst case assuming the players remain healthy for the sake of the article)

Best Case: Mo Allie-Cox steps up as a reliable starting tight end. Kylen Granson takes a step forward in his development. Jelani Woods gets consistent playing time, making the occasional big play.

After always being the second option, Mo Allie-Cox now will have the chance to step up and secure the starting spot at tight end in this offense. In the past, Allie-Cox managed to put up some decent stretches of play, but could never manage to do so consistently. The best case scenario for him would be to finally put up consistent numbers, and become the big red-zone threat the Colts envision him to be. He has always been an amazing blocker, but this offense now needs plenty more from him.

For Kylen Granson, the best case scenario would be for him to be somewhere between Trey Burton in 2020 as a floor and 2018 Eric Ebron as his ceiling. Granson is the most natural receiving threat of the group, and now with an entire season to improve his game, the Colts will be expecting much more from him.

For Jelani Woods, as is common with rookie tight ends, the best case scenario would be for him to manage to get on the field consistently and learn as much as he can. Woods has to be a sponge, absorbing every bit of knowledge and experience.

Middle Scenario: Mo Allie-Cox shows flashes, but is still inconsistent, disappearing at times. Kylen Granson fails to take advantage of more playing time. Jelani Woods makes too many rookie mistakes, making it very hard for the Colts to play him consistently.

Throughout his 4 year career in the NFL so far, MAC never managed to put up more than three consecutive games with 3+ catches. Despite some amazing games here and there (2 touchdowns against Miami last year, 5 catches for over 100 yards against Minnesota in 2020), MAC just never put it all together. The middle case for him would be to see the same inconsistencies this season, only more magnified with more playing time.

For Granson, the middle case would see him as guy that can only play in passing downs, and sees something like two or three situational targets a game. He showed last year in very limited playing time that he has the athleticism needed to fill that Ebron-Burton role in the offense, but the lack of experience may limit his impact.

For Woods, I would be satisfied with him getting some regular playing time throughout the course of the season (something like an average of 25% of the snaps each game). I am not counting on him to make a big impact straight away, but his first few seasons will probably be more of a learning curve as he adjusts to the NFL.

Worst Case: Mo Allie-Cox has already shown all he can do and continues disappearing for long stretches of the year. Kylen Granson´s adaptation to the NFL continues being a rough one, and his weakness as a blocker prevents him from stepping up into that #2 tight end role. Jelani Woods is over his head with the intricacies of the tight end position in the NFL, gets almost no meaningful playing time as he learns the nuances of the position.

For the entire tight end room, the floor is rather low (which is why I think the Colts need to explore all available options to solidify this group). We have already seen many times what the floor for MAC looks like: a guy that can make the occasional big play here and there, a solid blocker, but nothing more than that.

As for Granson and Woods, we have no idea how good, or bad, they can be with the increased playing time, so trying to properly predict a floor here is something rather difficult. It's safe to say that it would not be pretty at all.