Who will emerge as the top tight end for the Colts in the 2023 season?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Indianapolis Colts currently have several promising tight ends on the roster. As the 2023 season approaches, which player will earn the TE1 spot.

Over the past few years, the Indianapolis Colts have been building up their tight end room with large, athletic tight ends, and they’re all relatively young. Currently on the roster, Indy has Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, Jelani Woods, Andrew Ogletree, Will Mallory, and Pharaoh Brown. However, the Colts don’t have a clear top tight end.

Alie-Cox has been in the league and with the team the longest, Granson will be entering his third season, and Woods and Ogletree are entering year two, though, Ogletree didn’t play as a rookie because of a knee injury. While each has had promising moments, everyone is curious to see which will establish themselves as Indy’s TE1, and develop into an elite tight end.

Who will be TE1 for the Colts?

Despite Mo Alie-Cox being around the longest, there’s a belief that he may not even make it to the final roster. The tight end that people are most intrigued by is Jelani Woods. He’s 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, and athletic. As a rookie, he led all of Indy’s tight ends with 25 receptions for 312 yards and three touchdowns. However, he wasn’t utilized a lot during his rookie season.

During Woods’ rookie training camp, it was his draft classmate, Andrew Ogletree, that was making all of the headlines. Prior to injuring his knee, Ogletree was reportedly the best tight end in camp. Will he be able to return this season and pick up where he left off? Where do Granson and Mallory fit into this?

While receiving is the fun part about being a tight end, the player that will emerge as Indy’s TE1 will probably be the one that’s the best blocker.

Colts top tight end must be able to block

A receiving threat is great, and necessary, but being able to block as a tight end is crucial, especially in Indianapolis. The Colts offense will probably still go through Jonathan Taylor, and with a dual-threat quarterback in Anthony Richardson, blocking will be a big part of Indy’s offense.

In order for Shane Steichen to get the most out of the runnning and passing game, and use a lot of RPOs and play actions, Indianapolis’ tight ends have to be better blockers. So while the catches will get the highlights this offseason, the tight end that’s doing the dirty work will likely get the starting job and the majority of the reps.