3 Colts looking to make a Year 2 jump

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The 2021 draft class for the Indianapolis Colts had a relatively quiet rookie season.

Outside of Kwity Paye’s strong finish to the year, the rest of the class was in backup and developmental roles for the majority of the season. With deep playoff run aspirations, the Colts are going to need some players from this class to take their game to the next level in their second season.

Here are a few players that have an opportunity to make a major impact for Indianapolis in Year 2:

DE Kwity Paye

Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The first-round pick took some time before he started to make an impact for the Colts. After going through some growing pains early in his rookie season, he started putting things together and getting more pressure on quarterbacks. He finished his first year with 32 tackles (16 solo), three tackles for loss, four sacks, 10 quarterback hits, a pass deflection, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

One thing that will help Paye take the next step is the addition of Yannick Ngakoue. The veteran edge rusher gives him a mind he can pick and learn the tricks of the trade from. Having Ngakoue lined up opposite of him should give him plenty of one-on-one matchups. With further development from the offseason then Paye should be able to get to double-digits in the sack column. Paye taking the next step is key for the Colts to form one of the best defenses in the NFL.

DL Dayo Odeyingbo

AP Photo/Jeff Lewis

When the Colts selected Dayo Odeyingbo it was expected that his rookie season was going to be a “redshirt year” because he was coming off a recent torn Achillies injury that happened in January prior to the draft. He still was able to return in a timely manner and spent the final 10 games of the season in a developmental role in the rotation. He played 27% of the defensive snaps. In his limited action, Odeyingbo finished with six tackles (five solo), half a sack, one quarterback hit, and a forced fumble.

After spending a majority of his first year in the NFL rehabbing, he now gets a full offseason for him to grow as a player. He should be a vital piece in the rotation this season and can help make an impact on third downs with his pass-rush ability. Odeyingbo’s talent will be needed this season with the number of talented quarterbacks that are on the Colts’ schedule.

TE Kylen Granson

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The fourth-round tight end spent most of his rookie year third on the depth chart behind Jack Doyle and Mo-Alie Cox. Kylen Granson played 21% of the offensive snaps while grabbing 11 receptions for 106 yards. Jack Doyle’s retirement has created an opportunity for him to carve out a larger role in his second season. He will have to earn it though after the Colts selected Jelani Woods in the third round in the recent NFL draft.

Granson does have the upper hand on the rookie because of his familiarity with Frank Reich’s offense. A solid training camp will give him the opportunity to make an impact to begin the season as Woods gets acclimated to the system. Even though Indianapolis selected two tight ends in the draft, the coaching staff was just talking him up a couple of months ago. Granson has a chance to make an impact early on the season and can solidify his spot on the depth chart.

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