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Colts 2022 Position Recap: Tight Ends

Jelani Woods flashed his potential and built a strong foundation as a rookie with the Colts last season. 


2022 Depth Chart

  • Mo Alie-Cox (17 games, 19 receptions, 189 yards, 3 TDs)
  • Jelani Woods (15 games, 25 receptions, 312 yards, 3 TDs)
  • Kylen Granson (13 games, 31 receptions, 302 yards)
  • Nikola Kalinic (7 games)

3 Things To Know

  • Jelani Woods' traits translated to the field. As the Colts evaluated Woods during the 2021 college season at Virginia, they saw a rangy athlete who knew how to use his 6-foot-7 frame and 35-inch arms to bring in contested catches. He could get open with his athleticism by getting in and out of his breaks quickly, but also was always open because of his size. Those traits the Colts identified showed up quickly – in Week 3, Woods got a step on Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill and bodied him up to haul in the game-winning touchdown against the eventual AFC Champions. Woods proved he belongs in the NFL and built a strong foundation in Year 1 – more on that in a bit.
  • Jack Doyle's absence was felt. Doyle, who retired last offseason, was one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL over the last few years – and his skillset allowed the Colts to execute a variety of run concepts. The Colts knew they'd have to evolve their run game without Doyle, but weren't able to sustain their success from 2021. In 2022, the Colts averaged 3.0 yards per carry with two or more tight ends on the field; in 2021, they averaged 4.7 yards per carry with two or more tight ends on the field. Notably: The Colts' yards per carry average out of 11 personnel (3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 RB) was the same in 2022 as it was in 2021 (4.8 yards/attempt).
  • The Colts weren't able to replicate their Week 4 success. Against the Tennessee Titans in Week 4, Alie-Cox (six catches, 85 yards, 2 TDs), Granson (4 catches, 62 yards) and Woods (1 catch, 33 yards) combined for 11 catches, 180 yards and two touchdowns. In the Colts' other 16 games, those tight ends combined for 64 catches, 623 yards and four touchdowns – an average of four catches, 39 yards and 0.25 touchdowns per game.

1 Big Stat

Putting Woods' rookie season into context, here's how he compared to the average rookie tight end taken in the first 100 picks of the last 10 NFL Drafts:

Table inside Article
Stat Woods Rookie Average
Targets 40 37
Receptions 25 22
Yards 312 356
Touchdowns 3 2

What's Next

Don't forget about Andrew Ogletree, the 2022 sixth-round pick who was carving out a role in the Colts' offense before an ACL injury sustained in training camp ended his rookie season. The team remains high on Ogletree's upside, and between him and Woods, the Colts will have two second-year tight ends with major opportunities to impact the offense in 2023.

A look back at the Colts' tight ends group through photos from the 2022 season.

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