The Indianapolis Colts are in dire need of help in the tight end room heading into the 2022 NFL Draft after the retirement of Jack Doyle and the lack of free agent additions at the position. However, there is a problem; Chris Ballard and the Colts have a lot of needs while simultaneously lacking a first round pick thanks to a swing and a miss on Carson Wentz. Fortunately, there are a few talented options that should be available for Indianapolis in the second round or later. One such option is today’s scouting target, Grant Calcaterra from Southern Methodist.
40 Yard: 4.62
10 Yard: –
Arm Length: 33 1/4″
Hand Size: 10″
3 Cone: –
Broad Jump: –
Positives in Pass Game: Calcaterra does an excellent job of getting off the line of scrimmage at the snap and quickly getting into his route tree. He can create separation with quick cuts and good angles. He has good speed that forces opposing defenders to respect him and not cheat up. This allows Calcaterra to stop suddenly and take advantage of that cushion, providing an open target for his quarterback. His ball skills are easily his most favorable trait for scouts. He can track the ball in the air before making the necessary adjustments to secure the catch. Regardless if the throw is to his back shoulder or up over a defender, Calcaterra is a good bet to make the play. Once he secures the ball, he has the athleticism and elusiveness to make defenders miss in the open field.
Negatives in Pass Game: For all of the positives, there are some areas of concern still for Calcaterra. He lacks NFL size and strength, and it shows in certain situations. Calcaterra struggles to break free of defenders and won’t break many tackles as a result. There are also concerns about his ability to win jump ball situations against more physical defensive backs who would be capable of pulling the ball away.
Positives in Run Game: No one can fault Calcaterra for his effort as a blocker. He steps into conflict and does his best to create openings for his teammates.
Negatives in Run Game: Despite the effort, he struggles to hold his ground as a blocker. The two offenses he was a part of in college were pass-heavy, and as a result, he rarely was asked to truly serve as a traditional blocking tight end.
Summary: There are a lot of things to like about Calcaterra, especially when thinking about plugging him into an offense designed by a former creative quarterback with a quarterback known for his affinity to tight ends. Calcaterra is a potential late-round selection with a lot of intrigue as a receiving option. The biggest issue comes down to his medical history. The best ability is availability, and it’s hard to help your team from the sideline. Due to medicals and lack of strength, Calcaterra should not be taken earlier than the fourth round, and even that is risky.
Injury Concerns: This is a major red flag for Calcaterra. He has a troubling history of concussions and was forced to medically retire once before making a comeback to college football with SMU. He started all 12 games for the Mustangs in 2021, but concerns still linger about his long-term durability in the NFL.
Character/Off-Field Concerns: Calcaterra is a bright young man with an aptitude for helping those around him. During his brief retirement, he spent his time studying to become an emergency responder before returning to the sport. He should be a net positive for any locker room.
Projected Role: Starting Tight End in Spread Offense
Strong Points: Hands, Route-Running, Versatility
Weak Points: Strength, Blocking, Medical
Exposures: Oklahoma State (2018), Tulane (2021), Louisiana Tech (2021)