Pre-Draft Colts Positional Outlook: Tight End

Letting Trey Burton walk in free agency wasn't a drastic loss for the Colts overall, but failing to replace the veteran tight end ahead of the draft has hindered the depth chart at the position quite a bit.
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Letting Trey Burton walk after one year in an Indianapolis Colts' uniform wasn't something that moved the need one way or another for the franchise on paper.

That decision to let the veteran tight end walk was one that probably should have had a follow-up move behind it for Chris Ballard. Instead, it's been all quiet on the tight end front for the franchise, aside from retaining Mo Alie-Cox on a tender in March.

With Alie-Cox back in the fold, that ensures that the Colts return at least two-thirds of their three-headed tight end monster from last season, ensuring new QB Carson Wentz has options. There's still a decent need though with incumbent Jack Doyle getting older and entering the second year of a three-year extension, and very little - if any - depth behind Alie-Cox.

On the roster: Jack Doyle, Mo Alie-Cox, Noah Togiai, Andrew Vollert, Jordan Thomas, Farrod Green

Pre-Draft need: Moderate

The top-two pairing of Doyle and Alie-Cox is a good starting point for the Colts, but after that names like Togiai, Vollert, Thomas and Green simply don't profile as a true No. 3 in the NFL.

Doyle can serve as a strong No. 1 in Frank Reich's system with Wentz in the fold. He can play a lesser version of the Zach Ertz role that Wentz was so comfortable with in Philadelphia, giving him a sure-handed security blanket in a new offense.

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Alie-Cox has steadily improved year after year and should do well in a No. 2 role, but it would be wise for Ballard and the Colts to ensure there's a solid No. 3 option behind the two.

Should the Colts not go the draft route to add a solid No. 3 option with upside like Kansas State's Briley Moore, Duke Noah Gray, and Boise State's John Bates on Day 3, they should absolutely dive into the free agency market and grab someone like Indiana native Tyler Eifert, or veteran tight end Jesse James at a reasonably discounted price.

Regardless of which direction the Colts decide to go, they should absolutely add a tight end to the room to provide depth and competition behind two known quantities in Doyle and Alie-Cox.

Have thoughts on the tight end depth chart? Drop a line in the comments section below!


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