One of the bigger roster-building storylines to follow during training camp will be how many tight ends earn their way on to the Colts' initial 53-man roster.
The Colts have seven tight ends on their 90-man roster, several of which are recent draft picks along with a handful of veterans:
|Mo Alie-Cox||2017 (UDFA)||74||89||1,125||11|
|Pharaoh Brown||2023 (UFA)||55||51||478||2|
|Kylen Granson||2021 (4th round)||30||42||408||0|
|Will Mallory||2023 (5th round)||0||0||0||0|
|Andrew Ogletree||2022 (6th round)||0||0||0||0|
|Kaden Smith||2023 (UFA)||33||52||413||3|
|Jelani Woods||2022 (3rd round)||15||25||312||3|
Could the Colts keep five tight ends? If they keep four, who are the three who get cut? What if only three earn their way on to the roster? How important will special teams be in navigating who makes the cut and who doesn't?
We'll start to get a clearer picture of the answers to those questions as training camp progresses through August. But it won't just be about how this group catches passes during practice and preseason games – run blocking will be especially important, especially for an offense that possesses one of the NFL's most dynamic running backs in Jonathan Taylor.
But what muddies the picture here a bit – at least for right now – is so many of these players still have plenty to prove in the coming weeks at Grand Park.
Granson is entering Year 3 in the NFL and had a strong few weeks during OTAs this spring, but he's yet to catch a touchdown in the NFL. Woods showed promise as a rookie but has room for growth as a pass-catcher and blocker. Ogletree was one of the stories of training camp last year until he sustained a torn ACL midway through August. Mallory was high enough on the Colts' draft board that they took him in the fifth round despite a crowded group of players already in place. Alie-Cox has plenty of experience but saw his production drop to 19 catches for 189 yards in 2022, how lowest totals since 2019. Brown and Smith both joined the Colts this offseason.
So while there's plenty of upside in this group, there's also plenty of work for each player, individually, to do to make the Colts' roster.