Colts add TE Kylen Granson


American Team tight end Kylen Granson of SMU (83) during the first half of the NCAA college football Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts went on the offensive for the first time in the NFL Draft Saturday, and did so with a unique selection by Chris Ballard.

They selected SMU tight end Kylen Granson with the 22nd pick in round 4 (127th overall). He’s the first tight end selected by Ballard in his five drafts as general manager.

Granson also fits one of the Colts’ offseason needs: an athletic, pass-catching tight end. Coach Frank Reich makes liberal use of multiple-tight end formations, and always is looking for one that creates downfield mismatches.

“Tight ends I think are the focal point of any offense, but I’m glad coach realizes that and it’s a really big emphasis,’’ Granson said on a Zoom conference call. ‘It means alot, it means the world to me because it means that he realizes that I’m the real deal as far as a tight end is concerned.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m blocking or if I’m running. I’m more than willing to block, but I will acknowledge that I’m a fast time end as far as that goes and I can create mismatches down the field. If that’s how they want to use me, then I’ll definitely use that.’’

In three seasons at SMU and Rice, the 6-3, 235-pound Granson had 129 receptions, 1,879 yards and 16 touchdowns. He transferred to SMU for last season and generated 35 catches, 536 yards and a team-high five TDs.

Granson averaged 14.6 yards per catch in 41 games.

He joins a tight ends position that features Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox, and already has spent time watching video of Doyle.

“I like the way he moves,’’ Granson said. “He has good hands and he’s able to create separation. Granted he’s not the same skillset as me, but he still gets down the field and he’s able to make catches, and he’s also a good blocking tight end as well.’’

Granson was quite to dismiss one of the criticisms that followed his selection by the Colts. He suffered a pair of significant dropped passes in SMU’s 42-13 loss to 10th-ranked Cincinnati last season.

“That’s not an issue. That was one game,’’ Granson said. “That was a fluke game for me. Ever since that game, drops haven’t been a thing. They weren’t a thing before that.

“That game has just been more motivation for me to tighten up on my craft and catch more balls than ever. I’m so confident in my hands now.’’

Listen to the Colts Blue Zone Podcast for weekly coverage and analysis of the Indianapolis Colts.

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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