Andrew Luck found a new favorite target in Jack Doyle last season, and he is now set to be the featured tight end in 2017.
Jack Doyle had gained a total of 209 yards receiving with 3 touchdowns in his first three seasons combined, but he eclipsed those numbers before the halfway mark of last season.
Doyle emerged as a legitimate receiver last season with 584 yards on 59 receptions with 5 TD’s in his first year getting major playing time.
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Doyle’s fantastic 2016 season came at a great time for him as it was the final year of his rookie contract. The Colts’ front office signed Jack Doyle to a three-year $18.9 million deal this offseason, and traded Dwayne Allen to the Patriots to clear the way for Doyle to be the true number-one tight end.
Allen’s 406 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns from last season could be transferred to Doyle in 2017 as the Colts don’t really have a backup tight end that will challenge him for playing time.
One reason the Colts chose Doyle over Allen was Doyle’s versatility to play in the backfield, whereas Allen was more of a true in-line tight end. Playing Doyle at fullback creates mismatches for the defense as opposing linebackers are often assigned to cover players coming out of the backfield.
With T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief on the outside, Doyle could find himself in some very desirable matchups that he’s shown the ability to take advantage of.
Doyle’s connection with Andrew Luck was obvious last season, and it looked like they were always on the same page. Hopefully they will be able to continue to build that relationship in training camp if Luck can get healthy.
The Colts’ front office has made a big bet on Doyle this offseason by giving him a new contract and trading Dwayne Allen, and they expect him to take another step forward this season.