Despite currently sitting No. 3 on the depth chart at tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, the belief surrounding rookie tight end Kylen Granson is that the athletic move tight end can make a quick impact right away.
After drafting the athletic tight end out of Southern Methodist University in the fourth round, head coach Frank Reich and Chris Ballard raved about the new offensive weapon's abilities.
Now, Granson's former coach at SMU believes the rookie could make an impact right away in the NFL with the Colts. Though the learning curve is steep for tight ends, Granson could quickly adapt to the league and thrive in his role with the Colts.
Speaking with Colts.com's JJ Stankevitz June 8, SMU tight ends coach Josh Martin said he believes Granson could break the trend of rookie tight ends struggling out of the gate due to his versatility and continued growth.
"He's a guy that can do so many different things that I think the coaches in Indianapolis will find a role for him and where he can fit the best and can help the team and I think he'll just continue to get better and better at that," Martin said to Colts.com. "I definitely think he can break that trend, there's no question in my mind. No doubt."
While he still certainly has a steep learning curve ahead going from the American Athletic Conference to the NFL, both Martin and SMU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley raved about Granson's physical and mental traits, identifying how those traits could help him transition to the NFL.
Initially draw to his speed and athleticism, the Colts have big plans for the rookie tight end in Reich's system, where he could really thrive on crossing routes and making plays after the catch.
"He's one of those guys where I really do think he plays legit to his speed," Riley said. "He plays fast. (It was) kind of weird, you look out there, he's outrunning some of our wideouts. In a 40-yard burst, 20-to-40-yard burst, he's one of the better ones that I've been around for sure regardless of tight end or receiver."
Add in his overall football IQ and it's a recipe for a legitimate matchup nightmare for defenses.
"He was one of those guys that could, after the first series of the game, (tell coaches) here's how they're playing me, this is what they're trying to do," Martin said. "It was kind of like having a coach on the field, so to speak. He was pretty good about recognizing that kind of stuff. And then with film study, knowing what the defense is showing the majority of the year and gameplay wise what we're trying to accomplish — he would really understand the why of what we're trying to do."
Ahead of the 2021 season, the Colts say they view Granson as an "F" tight end in Reich's offense as the type of talent who can do a number of things offensively to become a weekly matchup problem for opposing defenses.
It will be interesting to watch how Granson develops as a rookie and how Reich and the Colts decide to deploy him in an offense that looks explosive on paper.
Have thoughts on Kylen Granson's potential impact in Year 1? Drop a line in the comments section below!