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Indianapolis Colts

2023 Colts Rookie Review: Will Mallory

Mallory made a handful of standout plays over a dozen games as a rookie in 2023. 


2023 Statistics

  • 12 games
  • 2 starts
  • 159 snaps
  • 26 targets
  • 18 receptions
  • 207 yards
  • 11 first downs

The Big Picture

The Colts didn't necessarily need a tight end in last year's NFL Draft, but thought highly enough of Mallory's speed and playmaking ability to select him in the fifth round to add competition and depth to that group. 

Mallory's first catch as a pro was a 43-yarder in the Colts' Week 2 win over the Houston Texans, and he gradually carved out a space in the Colts' offense as the season progressed. The Colts primarily used him split away from the formation in the slot (82 snaps, per PFF) or wide (17 snaps), while he lined up as an inline tight end 54 times and in the backfield six times. 

And Mallory's feel for space against zone defenses led to a handful of key first downs in December, including a 19-yard catch on third-and-8 that gave the Colts some breathing room against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

"The way he is running routes, the way he is catching the football, creating separation – he's done a heck of a job," head coach Shane Steichen said during the season. "He's showed up big time for us in a few games catching the football. You can see the growth from him and it's awesome to see a rookie take that next step every week like he has. Credit to him and the work he puts in, and Tom Manning, our tight ends coach, for getting him prepared."

By the end of the season, the Colts felt Mallory had made steady progress throughout his rookie year.

"He's learning new stuff and maybe goes out to practice and gets a rep and it's not perfect and then he learns from it and the next day it's better and then you look up in the game and he's made that catch, he's gotten open on that route," offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. "He's doing a nice job developing as a young player in this league. I think he's learning a ton, I'm sure if you asked him I would guess he would say that. He's getting better and better – that's good for us. We need guys that will go out there and play good ball within the role that's defined for them. Will is doing that and when you do that, you earn a little bit more."

Season Highlights

View the best photos from tight end Will Mallory's rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts.

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