The Colts meant business when 70 percent of their 2012 NFL Draft selections (7 of the 10 players taken) were offensive players. After taking Andrew Luck in the first round, they turned to Luck’s teammate, tight end COBY FLEENER in the second round.
They took it a step further when they signed tight end DWAYNE ALLEN to a four-year contract on July 25 that will pay him $3.08 million (plus a signing bonus for this season) up until the 2015 season. Allen was selected as the John Mackey Award winner in 2011 as the best tight end in the nation. Allen combines solid speed, with long arms and good hands, and a penchant for finding ways to get open to annoy defenses.
Allen skipped his senior year to enter the draft and it paid off, as he will be one of the focal points of the Colts passing game for years to come. His size allows him to bully smaller defensive backs and go toe to toe with bloodthirsty linebackers. He likes to give hits and can receive them as well. Wide receivers can’t do everything and they are not always open during games, so new-age tight ends like Allen are of paramount importance to a team’s offensive success.
The Colts also signed their other rookie tight end COBY FLEENER to a four-year contract just in time for camp. This is a pivotal signing for the Colts offense and of course for Fleener, as this period is the time for rookies to get acclimated to their surroundings as far as teammates and learning the all-important playbook. Fleener will make just over $5.4 million or around $1.5 million a year up until the free agency period in early 2016.
Fleener’s signing is key as the Colts are trying to replace DALLAS CLARK and JACOB TAMME, two tight ends who left in free agency. As for Fleener, he was one of the better pass catching tight ends in the 2012 Draft and in time he could be the all over the field pass catching threat that the Colts need.
It also helps that Fleener played with Colts first round pick ANDREW LUCK at Stanford for three years, where he was one of Luck’s biggest allies in the passing game. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and both of them need each other to succeed in the AFC South.
By Matthew Robinson