Colts: Could Kylen Granson become Carson Wentz’s new Zach Ertz?

Colts TE Kylen Granson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Colts TE Kylen Granson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts used their fourth-round pick (No. 122 overall) to select SMU tight end Kylen Granson in the 2021 NFL Draft.

For a while, fans thought it’d be a splendid idea for general manager Chris Ballard to trade a fourth- or fifth-round pick for Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.

Why not?! Reunite him with Carson Wentz. Further elevate the tight end corps with one of the most accomplished veterans in the league. Maintain the familiarity.

That all sounded like a tremendous plan until Ballard decided to take Granson, who’s been one of the best tight ends in the country since 2019.

Could Colts TE Kylen Granson be Carson Wentz’s new Zach Ertz?

Ertz has been a premier target in the NFL for his size and receiving skills. He has among the game’s best hands, his speed allows him to get separation against linebackers, safeties and even cornerbacks, and his size (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) helps him make contested catches.

But if you look at Granson, he’s got some soft hands himself, is arguably faster than Ertz (4.64 40-yard dash vs Ertz’s 4.76), and is a bit bulkier (6-foot-1, 240 pounds). Like Ertz, Granson proved he was a YAC monster thanks to his physical running style. At SMU, he averaged over 16 yards per reception.

Does the way he gets open over the middle look familiar? That’s been Ertz’s trademark for nearly a decade on Philly.

One could say he’s even more athletic than Ertz, too. Just look at his route-running abilities.

Sure, he may not be much of a blocker, but if he’s creating mismatches of this magnitude, it doesn’t matter. If he reaches his ceiling, who is going to cover him?

The luxury the Colts have, too, is experimenting with him in Year 1. He won’t be relied upon to make an immediate impact given the presence of Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox, both of whom are still capable of contributing in the running and passing game.

Sprinkling in Granson to see what he’s capable of during his rookie season among the other weapons in this offense could give the Colts a worthwhile outlook in regard to what they might have in the former SMU star.

Perhaps a pairing of Granson and Alie-Cox after 2021 could be the move, with Granson serving as a receiving specialist in wide sets. And think about the possibilities in the play-action game. If the offensive line can give Wentz time (spoiler alert: it will), Granson’s speed and physicality will allow him to find the holes in the defense or beat his man straight up.

We’re not saying it’s a done deal, but based on the tape and the way he could be used in the offense from the jump, Granson’s abilities could make him a new version of Ertz for the Colts’ new signal caller.