With the Colts only having two tight ends on the roster currently, I decided it would be good to study some Tight End prospects in this NFL Draft and write an article on each of them. The first one I wanted to cover in this series was Cole Turner, a Tight End from the University of Nevada, Reno. I think the Colts have their traditional in-line tight end with Mo Alie-Cox, who can block and be a vertical threat up the seam, and their potential F tight end in Kylen Granson, but what I think the colts could use is another “move” Tight End or a flex Tight End if you will. This player would be a mismatch nightmare all over the field and would be rarely be asked to block; think of Jimmy Graham, a prototypical flex TE. As much as I love Kylen Granson, he isn’t exactly a nightmare matchup for defenses. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t skilled, and that doesn’t mean he won’t be a lot better this year because I think he will be. With that being said, let’s jump right into what I learned from Cole Turner’s game against Boise State last season.
Right out of the gate, Cole Turner made an excellent play on 3rd and 9 to start the first quarter. I like this clip because it shows Cole’s ability to adjust to the ball because QB Carson Strong threw it behind him, and it also shows how easily he got separation on the linebacker. He makes a great play in the middle of the field to keep the chains moving and displays his athleticism.
I love this play that Cole Turner makes here because it perfectly displays why I think he would be a great fit in this Tight End Room in Indianapolis. On this play in the RedZone, he is flexed out as a wide receiver and is asked to simply go make a 50/50 play on the ball on a defensive back who is much smaller than him, and he perfectly executed the play. I like how he uses his body control and athleticism to make an athletic catch with his hands. He also uses his body to put himself in a good position on a much smaller defensive back—a great throw by Carson Strong and a great catch by Cole Turner.
There is nothing incredibly special about this play, but it shows that if you ask Cole Turner to block, he will make a good effort and execute the block correctly. I think Cole Turner is an extremely competitive player, and effort plays like these show that.
I like this play that Cole Turner makes here because it is one he will have to make often in the NFL. The ability to make plays in 2-minute offense situations like these is so important, and your Quarterback has to be able to rely on you to make a play in these situations, especially as a Tight End, because you are usually the safety valve for the Quarterback. He makes a nice athletic catch with his hands on a huge 3rd and 12 that helped Nevada flip the field and move into scoring position.
While I’ve mostly shown what Cole Turner has done well, you also have to show what a player doesn’t do well, and this play perfectly displays that. Cole Turner gets absolutely bullied on this rep by the Boise State Defensive End, and this shows why I think he projects as a move tight end because he makes plays in the passing game, but as a blocker, he is going to struggle against defensive ends in the NFL. Can you imagine him trying to block Kwity Paye or Yannick Ngakoue in practice? I can’t imagine that would end well for him, but I am sure Kwity and Yannick would be really excited to be lined right across from him.
In this play, we see Cole Turner try to block a linebacker from Boise State on this run play, and he blocks him into the running back, which is obviously not ideal. As a result, we see Nevada take a tackle for a loss due to bad blocking on this play by Cole Turner. Again, this is concerning for me as a viewer because ideally, you want to see your Tight Ends be able to block linebackers and defensive ends.
In the next article, we will be looking at Cole Turner’s film from the Fresno State game last season. For more Colts Content, you can follow me @TheZschankISN on Twitter and @IndySportsNow on Twitter. Also, make sure to listen to the latest episode from The Blue Stable Podcast with Destin and Mike with guest Kent Lee Platte who created the renowned Relative Athletic Score metric, and stay tuned for more articles from the great writers at The Blue Stable. If you’ve made it this far, I want to thank you for reading and for your support!