CBS Sports: Kylen Granson a 'New-Age Tight End' Who Could Earn Key Role

CBS Sports has singled out Colts fourth-round pick Kylen Granson as one AFC rookie who could carve out a key role as a rookie.
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The Indianapolis Colts have drafted plenty of exciting talent in recent years, but players don't always hit right away as rookies.

However, CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso has identified one Colts rookie who could earn a key role as a rookie in fourth-round tight end Kylen Granson.

Impressive stat to know: 78 catches for 1,257 yards with 14 touchdowns in his two seasons at SMU

Granson is old for a rookie. He's already 23. And in most cases, older prospects who produced against younger competition in college don't pan out in the NFL. But not every "older" rookie is doomed once they start playing on Sundays. And Granson has a new-age tight end skill set.

He's smaller, can separate -- especially underneath -- and is occasionally flashy after the catch. We know Carson Wentz has an affinity for throwing to the tight end -- remember Zach Ertz's 116 catches in 2018? So even with some veterans at the position in front of him, Granson will make an impact early.

Granson's calling card is his ability as a move tight end, but he's more than that. A willing blocker who can get downfield, run after the catch and make contested catches, Granson is very intriguing for the Colts.

"Yeah, absolutely. They definitely acknowledged my versatility as far as my pass-catching ability and being able to create big plays after I catch the ball and get it into my hands," Granson told reporters when asked if the Colts indicated to him he's the missing ingredient to their tight end group. "I'm really excited that they saw that and decided to pick me."

Granson is both intelligent and talented, but that may not mean an immediately significant role with the Colts. For one, they don't have a critical need at tight end as starters Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox are both more-than-capable blockers and pass-catchers.

Nov 30, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs tight end Kylen Granson (83) makes the one handed 8-yard touchdown catch during the first half against the Tulane Green Wave at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

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Tight end is one of the positions that take the longest for players to acclimate from college to the pros. Granson is already well aware of that, knows why that's the case, and has a plan for how to try and get on the field as quickly as possible.

"I feel like tight ends, you have to know a lot," Granson said. "It's just a lot of running assignments, pass blocking assignments, and then you have to know all the formations. You really have to be truly dialed in almost as much as a quarterback is because tight ends have to know the second-most besides them. I feel like that mental load may take some guys a little while just get used to that load.

"Then after that, it’s just getting used to the speed of the game because I mean it is the NFL," Granson continued. "Everyone is big, everyone is fast even more so from college, so just that element also. Other than that, I think the main reason is just how much they have to pick up."

What seems like the most likely result for Granson in Year One is the 2020 Trey Burton role.

Last season, Burton served as the versatile, athletic tight end behind Doyle and Alie-Cox who could threaten a defense and affect them in ways that perhaps the others couldn't, and he filled that role well.

In 13 games for the Colts, Burton caught 28 passes for 250 yards (8.9 avg.) and 3 touchdowns to go along with 2 carries for 3 yards and another 2 touchdowns.

While Granson's long-term outlook looks bright, be cautious of expecting any large numbers as a rookie.

What are your expectations for Granson? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!

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