The tight end combo of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener will prove an interesting case study by the time the Indianapolis Colts‘ 2013 preseason wraps up. Allen has already shown himself to be among the league’s most valuable young players regardless of position, thanks to the full repertoire of passing and blocking skills on display during his rookie campaign.
Allen’s Pro Football Focus tight end grade ranked second among tight ends to only Rob Gronkowski in 2012. Though this grade was largely on the back of sterling marks in both run and pass blocking, his no. 5 ranking in yards after catch per reception (5.5) show a 6-foot-3, 255-pound man nimble enough to pick up real estate with ball in hand.
Allen ranked just 23rd among tight ends in receptions last year, but perhaps he may see an increased receiving role in new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton‘s scheme. Allen also likes the effect his new offseason training wrinkle will have in the receiving game.
“Man, a ton of yoga,” Allen said, via Pro Football Talk. “I had probably over 100 classes of yoga and it’s helped out a ton. I feel more fluid in my routes, getting in and out of my stance. It’s definitely helped calm me down a little bit.”
Hamilton’s college offenses were heavily predicated on the use of two tight-end sets. It will be interesting to see if Coby Fleener has a massively increased role in the receiving game, and if that translates to fewer opportunities to run routes for Allen.
USA Today Sports’ fantasy football preview mag projected Allen as their 29th tight end, and there’s plenty of reason to think he will be a much better real life tight end than in fantasy.
Allen’s mark of three dropped passes against 45 receptions is rather impressive — Gronk had seven against 55 — so the hands and overall physical skills make him a nice option, dependent on if Hamilton utilizes him a fair amount outside of blocking. It just comes down to how Hamilton schemes the two-tight end passing sets in Colts training camp.