Four Horsemen aim to establish role in Colts offense

NFL: Indianapolis Colts Training Camp
Indianapolis Colts tight end Jelani Woods (80) and tight end Kylen Granson (83) work through drills during an indoor practice at Grand Park Sports Campus. | The Indianapolis Star-USA TODAY NETWORK

If any of the horsemen — all between the ages of 25 and 26 — contribute as a scoring threat, the Colts may discover the final piece to solidify one of the most electric offensive attacks in football.

Which Indianapolis Colts tight end playing on his rookie deal is destined to take the biggest leap in 2024?

It will be a pivotal contract year for Kylen Granson, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025. Granson was drafted by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s averaged over two catches per game in each of the last two seasons. Granson hauled in 30 receptions in 15 games and scored the lone touchdown of his career in the Week 2 victory against the AFC South-rival Houston Texans.

The Colts took a chance to select a pair of tight ends during the 2022 NFL Draft, including Jelani Woods in the third round and Drew Ogletree in the sixth round. Woods knows he can become the defining piece in the offense once he earns his starting spot back during training camp. He scored three touchdowns in his rookie season, but struggled with hamstring injuries and was sidelined for the entire 2023 season. With his massive 6-foot-7 frame, Woods can become an essential downfield weapon and red zone magnet for quarterback Anthony Richardson.

Ogletree suffered a torn ACL during his first training camp and missed his rookie season. It will be critical for Ogletree to work his way back up the depth chart at some point over the next six weeks. Will Mallory was drafted in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft and collected 18 catches for 207 receiving yards in 12 games. He is currently listed fourth on the Colts 2024 depth chart.

Over the course of his second campaign, Richardson’s development can lift the Colts from a three-year playoff drought back into the mix of AFC contenders aiming to dethrone the undisputed Super Bowl champions. The Kansas City Chiefs have put together 11 consecutive winning seasons, six straight trips to the conference title game and have won three Super Bowl titles in the last five years. Kansas City hosted the AFC championship game in an NFL record five consecutive seasons from 2018-2022.

But how difficult is it to sustain success as an NFL club? To put this historic feat in perspective from the rest of the field, only eight NFL teams have an active streak of three consecutive winning seasons. The Colts have one playoff victory in the last nine seasons, a 21-7 road win over the Texans in the 2018 wild card round.

Indianapolis must have an explosive offense to remain competitive in the AFC. The Colts averaged 23.3 points per game in 2023, tied for the tenth-best in the league. Head coach Shane Steichen orchestrated brilliant game plans without his most elusive playmakers in the backfield, who both tend to dominate the gridiron when healthy and have possession of the football. If any of the horsemen — all between the ages of 25 and 26 — emerge as a scoring threat, the Colts may discover the final piece to solidify one of the most electric offensive attacks in football.

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Title: Four Horsemen aim to establish role in Colts offense
Author: Thomas Butler-Guerrero

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