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Tight end Kylen Granson takes 'cerebral' approach to his third NFL season

After turning heads at training camp, Granson has big goals for himself and the team ahead of the start of the 2023-2024 regular season.

Granson v Bills

WESTFIELD, Ind. - From hiring Shane Steichen to be their new head coach, drafting quarterback Anthony Richardson with the fourth overall and even unveiling new alternate uniforms, this offseason has brought a lot of changes to the Colts.

However, one thing that seems to stay the same is the presence of tight end Kylen Granson.

"Granson's been super consistent," Colts' offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. "He's out there every day, he's putting forth great effort, he's getting open, he's making great catches for us, being physical in the run game. Just, kind of showing a lot of different parts of his game, showing a lot of different areas that he can help us and he can help the team have success, help the offense have success."

Cooter's assessment of Granson has been a common one as those around him have taken note of how he has been attacking training camp this year.

Tight ends coach Tom Manning has arguably gotten to see more of Granson's effort over the past few weeks than anyone and said he has more than lived up to expectations.

"Kylen has made a bunch of plays here for us, but I am really happy with the consistency that he puts into everything he does," Manning said. "He is the same guy every day. His preparation is always very good and you have a very good idea of what you are going to get from Kylen when you go out to practice and gameday. Obviously, he has had meaningful reps in games on Sundays. So, certainly, that is expected of him and he's done a great job."

While Granson's consistency bodes well for him on the field, it also helps him to stand out from the other tight ends on the team.

Currently, the Colts have nine tight ends on the roster, making for a tough competition for not only a starting job, but a place on the squad.

Well aware that staying in the NFL means always fighting for your spot, Granson said that he hopes that his dependable nature will pay off.

"It's just one of the challenges of the league, it's a business as they always say, 'Not for Long,'" Granson said. "So yeah, you just got to stand out and keep showing that you can be consistent with your production level. And as long as you're producing consistent results, they're gonna keep you around for a while, or at least that's my hope."

So far, it appears that has been the case.

Nearly tripling his production from his rookie year, Granson caught 31 passes for 302 yards in 2022. His receptions were the most of any tight end on the team.

Granson has a shot to be even better this season if training camp is any indication.

The 25-year-old has taken a majority of the first-team reps at practice. Against the Bills in the preseason opener, he had a 20-yard reception.

Always seeming to find open space on the field, Granson said that comes from his ability to anticipate things before they happen.

"I think just from the way I approach ball, I feel like it's a little more intellectual," Granson said. "Just because I'm a little more cerebral with my play. I like to see things before they happen, just the way the defense lines up. So having a little bit of accelerated vision kind of helps me with my game because I know where people are gonna be before they're there."

With the way Granson has been able to grasp the game mentally, it has helped him to deal with the ever-changing factors around him.

Since being drafted back in 2021, Granson has had two different head coaches and has seen four different quarterbacks start games for the team.

Though that could justifiably create confusion for any player, Granson said it has helped him to become more accepting of change.

"It always helps to be adaptable," Granson said. "I mean, the quicker you can change to the situation, the better. With head coaching changes, quarterback changes and offensive changes, it's definitely helped me here in the past three years. Definitely been a unique and exciting experience for your boy."

With the announcement earlier this week that Richardson would be the starter for the 2023 season, Granson and his teammates can finally settle in and focus on building chemistry with the rookie leading into the regular season.

Will that lead to another jump in production for Granson? Could this mean that Granson can score his first career NFL touchdown?

While either option would be nice, Granson said that he has his sights set on the ultimate prize.

"If I get a touchdown, that's whatever," Granson said. "But you know what feels better than a touchdown? A Super Bowl ring."

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