Colts: Is Zach Ertz trade dead after Indy’s fourth-round draft pick?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 07: Kylen Granson #83 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 07: Kylen Granson #83 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for former Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz over the last few months, as familiarity with head coach Frank Reich and quarterback Carson Wentz could be a very interesting draw for him. However, general manager Chris Ballard’s focus has been firmly fixated on the draft.

The Colts have subjected their fans to a variety of emotions over the last few days during the 2021 NFL Draft. While they took a stud pass rusher in former Michigan star Kwity Paye, the Colts made a very redundant selection when they landed on Vanderbilt athletic project Dayo Odeyingbo in the second round.

The Colts finally addressed their offensive issues on Day 3 of the draft when they decided to get Wentz another new weapon to play with in the form of a very promising tight end from Dallas with amazing receiving skills.

With the 127th pick, Indianapolis drafted SMU tight end Kylen Granson, who could have a much higher ceiling as a receiver than current starting tight end Jack Doyle. But more importantly, this move might signal the end of Indianapolis’ pursuit of Ertz.

Kylen Granson could prevent a Zach Ertz trade for the Colts.

Granson is not a very good blocker. In fact, he operates more like a wide receiver than a traditional in-line tight end. That player profile might be enough to force Ballard to hold off on an Ertz trade, as Granson can fill the void Ertz was looking to plug at a much cheaper price.

One of the top targets for SMU quarterback Shane Buechele last year, Granson can line up at wide receiver, split out in the slot, and play in-line if needed. A seam buster with tremendous speed, great body control, and soft hands, Granson should be able to push Doyle for targets.

Granson isn’t going to start, but the Doyle/Granson pairing is not only a more effective combination than what Ertz can provide given the poor season he had last year, but duo will likely be able to get equal or better production at a fraction of the price. This could end up being Ballard’s best move of the draft given the circumstances around it.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget about Mo Alie-Cox, who’s carved out a role for himself after an impressive 2020.

Granson is not going to turn into Gronk due to his limited blocking ability, but he’s a demon in the slot, which will be valuable for Wentz. Overpaying for a player like Ertz now no longer has to be something Ballard gets boxed into doing since Granson gives him some security.