One of the biggest moves of the Indianapolis Colts’ offseason was trading Dwayne Allen to the Patriots, which makes Jack Doyle the premier tight end in this offense.
The Colts sent Dwayne Allen and a sixth round pick to New England in exchange for the Patriots’ fourth round pick this offseason. Allen split snaps with Jack Doyle at the tight end position last season, but it became clear that Doyle was emerging as one of Andrew Luck‘s favorite targets.
Doyle was targeted 75 times compared to Allen’s 52 targets in 2016, and Doyle is on a slightly cheaper contract. Doyle’s ability to play the fullback position inspired the Colts to keep him over Allen, and give him a three-year contract extension this offseason.
Doyle had started seven games combined in his first three NFL seasons in Indianapolis, but he made the most of his opportunity last season gaining 584 yards receiving with 5 touchdowns in 14 starts. He could have a monster year in 2017 with another offseason to work on his connection with Andrew Luck.
Erik Swoope will step in as the number-two tight end in 2017 after he gained 297 yards receiving on just 15 receptions last season. Swoope is an athletic former basketball player who has a ton of upside.
Swoope’s success could pave the way for another former college basketball player to make the roster as the Colts signed VCU’s Mo Alie-Cox as an undrafted free agent. The 6′ 6″ 267-pound former power forward is a bit of a long shot to make the roster, but he’s an intriguing prospect going forward.
The other tight ends on the roster include fifth-year TE Brandon Williams and two rookies: LSU’s Colin Jeter and Washington’s Darrell Daniels.
The Colts made an important decision by moving on from Dwayne Allen this offseason giving Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope increased opportunity to improve on the potential they showed last season. Indianapolis looks pretty set at the tight end position for years to come.
In case you missed it, here are our other 2017 positional previews: