Colts would be wise to add another tight end

Authored by Stew Blake on Feb 27, 2013
Colts would be wise to add another tight end

In a game where tight ends are trying to represent themselves as wide receivers in contract negotiations, we are witnessing just how important the position has become to offenses.
In 2012, the Colts took a major step towards solidifying the position for years to come. Coby Fleener was selected in the second round and Dwayne Allen in the third.
Some people were confused by the draft combination, but in today’s NFL, it makes perfect sense. It also fit with Ryan Grigson’s “best player available” strategy.
Fleener would go on to have an uninspiring rookie effort, while Allen became a legitimate cog in the Colts’ offense.
But even with the position solidification via Fleener and Allen, can you really ever have enough tight ends? I say no.
I’m a firm believer in the position, and I find it to be one of the more interesting skillsets in the game. Not only does it require a vast amount of different talents to be successful, but it also has served as a hybrid of sorts in many offenses.
Tight ends can find holes in the slot, freeing up receivers on the outside, while setting up game-changing blocks that push their running back to the second level.
It’s an incredibly demanding position and if the Colts’ archrival Patriots have taught us anything, the more tight ends you stockpile, the better off you are.
In the 2013 NFL Draft, there is a stout draft class of stud tight ends—Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert is the cream of the crop. While there may be some great options in the draft, the Colts will obviously have their board going in a very different direction.
If the Colts are to find another tight end, they would be better fitted to discover a competitor for Weslye Saunders and Dominique Jones via free agency.
Pep Hamilton is in town with his West Coast, tight end heavy scheme, so I expect big years from both Fleener and Allen. But what if Fleener suffers another injury? What if it’s Allen this time? Can Saunders and Jones step up in their place?
Providing competition for the second-year Colts is a must, especially in this new offense.
With roughly $46 million dollars to spend, the Colts could look to secure a cheap free agent tight end when the market opens on Mar. 12. Some low-risk, high-reward options that come to mind are Delanie Walker (if he’s okay with not starting), Evan Moore, Visanthe Shiancoe, or Travis Beckum. These are all veteran players that aren’t going to ask for much, but they could be exactly what the Colts need if Fleener or Allen go down.
The pending list of undrafted free agents is also worth a look.
I may be overstating the Colts’ need for competition at tight end, but keep this in mind: When the Patriots take the field this year, they will likely have a trio of premium tight ends. That trio? Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Jake Ballard.
Yes, it’s true: you can never have enough tight ends.



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