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Colts Jelani Woods named a ‘breakout’ candidate at TE position

Marcus Mosher of the 33rd Football Team put together his list of breakout candidates at the tight end position for the 2024 season. Included was the Indianapolis ColtsJelani Woods.

Along with Woods, only two other tight ends made the list: Green Bay’s Luke Musgrave and Tampa Bay’s Cade Otten.

Below is a snippet of what Mosher had to say about Woods. For Mosher’s full explanation, click here.

“The good news is that Woods is healthy entering the 2024 offseason and has been present during the Colts’ OTAs. Going into Year 3, he is set for a massive breakout season with coach Shane Steichen and QB Anthony Richardson. Their offense is predicated on RPO throws to the middle of the field, which is fantastic news for Woods. He can be a weapon down the seam because of his size and speed.”

Woods would catch 25 passes as a rookie, totaling 312 yards with three scores. Mosher would call his performance that season “rock solid.” Unfortunately, Woods’ sophomore NFL season never got going with him missing the entire season due to hamstring injuries.

He was, however, back on the practice field for OTAs this past week, and looked “impressive,” according to The Athletic’s James Boyd.

Woods is 6-7 and brings excellent speed to the position, running a 4.61-second 40-yard dash during the pre-draft process in 2022. That element will allow Woods to stretch the field and feast off RPO opportunities, as Mosher notes, in Shane Steichen’s offense.

In addition to Woods’ big play potential, he can provide Anthony Richardson with a big red-zone target, and his versatility, which allows him to line up from the slot and out wide, can create mismatches.

A tight end who can regularly impact the passing game really helps open up the playbook and opportunities within the offense for other pass catchers.

“Finally getting to see him,” Shane Steichen said after last week’s practice via the Indy Star. “I mean, I saw him a little bit in training camp, he got the injury, but to see how long he is and how he can run, vertical threat, different things you can do with him. It’s good to have him out there.”

Step No. 1 for Woods will be staying healthy, but if he’s able to do so, the recipe is there for him to have a very productive season.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire