E Carolina SMU Football

SMU tight end Kylen Granson runs in the end zone after a touchdown against East Carolina on Nov. 9, 2019, in Dallas.

The Indianapolis Colts opened Day 3 of the NFL draft with a gift for head coach Frank Reich.

The fourth-year leader said throughout the offseason the team was hoping to add a tight end who can stretch defenses down the seam, and Indianapolis landed SMU’s Kylen Granson in the fourth round (No. 127 overall) to do just that.

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

Granson has some elite athletic measurables including a 4.64-second 40-yard dash and a 36.5-inch vertical leap. Size is a concern at 6-foot-1 and 241 pounds, but if he’s used similarly to the way Indianapolis utilized Trey Burton in 2020, that shouldn’t be an issue.

There also was a red flag raised about drops, but Granson quickly shot down that speculation – saying that was generated by a single “fluke” game.

“That game has just been more motivation for me to just tighten up on my craft and catch more balls than ever,” he said. “I’m so confident in my hands now. I feel like I’m a totally different player from even back then, and that was – I don’t know – a couple months ago.”

Granson caught 35 passes for 536 yards and five touchdowns in his final season at SMU, earning first-team All-American Athletic Conference recognition.

Tight ends have always played a big role in Reich’s offense, and Granson made a good connection with the head coach during the draft process.

“Tight ends, I think, are the focal point of any offense,” Granson said. “But I’m glad coach realizes that, and it’s a really big emphasis. It means a lot. 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.”

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THB sports editor George Bremer has covered the Indianapolis Colts since 2010. He occasionally sports a beard that can rival Andrew Luck's, but he lacks arm strength and durability.