INDIANAPOLIS – Last March, Jack Doyle was the No. 3 tight end in Indianapolis and Mo Alie-Cox had played one game of football, at any level, in his entire life.
My, how times have changed.
Flip that calendar forward a year and Doyle is a newly signed man and atop the tight end depth chart in his hometown of Indianapolis.
Swoope has gone from never playing football just a couple of years ago, to the Colts' No. 2 tight end, a role Rob Chudzinski used like a starter last season. Last year's No. 2 tight end, Doyle, played more than two-thirds of the team's offensive snaps.
A handful of years after drafting Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in the subsequent picks after Andrew Luck, the Colts' tight ends are Doyle and Swoope, two guys who never heard their name called in respective drafts.
In comparing the resumes of Doyle and Allen the biggest discrepancy over their four years together comes in games played.
Since 2013, Allen has missed 23 games. In that same span, Doyle has suited up in every single contest.
That three-year contract Doyle signed on Wednesday morning received a bit more responsibility when the news broke of Allen a few hours later.
After playing second fiddle to Allen in 2016, Doyle is now the guy at the tight end position for Andrew Luck in 2017.
Doyle's running mate will be Swoope.
One of the bright spots of last season for the Colts were the flashes shown by Swoope, who played in all 16 games.
Swoope finished 2016 averaging 19.8 yards per catch, the second highest of the 56 NFL tight ends with at least 14 catches last year (Rob Gronkowski was the only tight end with a higher yards per catch average).
Experience is still the question for Swoope. His role grew substantially in 2016, but he still played more than a dozen offensive snaps in just five games last year.
How the Colts replace Allen's blocking, his strongest asset, will be a storyline to watch.
Allen was known for his above average blocking and the Colts must account for that in rounding out the tight end group with another addition this offseason. The 2017 draft could be the route for that, after the tight end group at last week's Combine had scouts buzzing about the depth at that position.
At lunchtime on Wednesday, the tight end position might have been the deepest on Chris Ballard's roster.
By dinner time, it was a group void of their leader, now led by two guys who shined in 2016 and have the potential to make Ballard look like a very smart man.
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