When the Indianapolis Colts saw Coby Fleener available for their second pick in April’s draft they had to be thinking this is too good to be true. Fleener dropped to the second round, but has high first round talent.
The rookie out of Stanford was among the best tight ends in the country during his time in college and joins his quarterback Andrew Luck with the Colts. Indianapolis was hoping the duo could continue their success from college into the pros. If they keep going like they did last week in Chicago they could be the best quarterback/tight end combo in the game one day.
Fleener set the Colts franchise record for a rookie tight end for receiving yards in his debut. The youngster caught six passes for 82 yards. He surpassed Reese McCall from the 1978 team when McCall caught three passes for 53 yards in his debut. Colts greats like Dallas Clark, Jacob Tamme, and Ken Dilger only caught one pass in their debut so Fleener is way ahead of the game already.
What Fleener brings to the Colts isn’t just familiarity with Luck, but size, great hands, and quickness. Fleener has better attributes than New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski who’s arguably the best in the game right now. With repetition, improvement, and living up to his ability, I wouldn’t be surprised if Fleener could be the best in the game one day.
The NFL is transforming the position of a tight end from once a blocker to a big threat. The best offenses last year used a duel tight end threat and it worked tremendously. Big tight ends like Fleener and Gronkowski are hard for a corner to defend due to their size and great hands, and way too fast for a linebacker to guard. They can spread the field and make openings for big plays for other receivers.
The Colts drafted tight end Dwayne Allen with their third pick in effort to become one of those high powered passing offenses again. So far, it’s transitioning just nicely. Expect more record to be broken by Fleener.