Colts ‘sweated it out’ waiting to draft TE Jelani Woods

Every year, there are certain players that teams are praying will fall to a certain pick in the NFL draft. For the Indianapolis Colts this year, it was tight end Jelani Woods.

After moving back via trade and selecting wide receiver Alec Pierce in the second round, the Colts were up next at No. 73 overall in the third round. General manager Chris Ballard was getting a little anxious as his next pick drew closer.

The whole time he was hoping Woods would fall to them at that spot.

“Jelani is unique,” Ballard told reporters Friday night. “I’m not going to lie to you, I sweated it out because I think he’s got really big upside both as a receiving tight end and as a blocker.”

At 6-foot-7 and 253 pounds and 34-inch arms, Woods is built more like a defensive end. However, he moves like a wide receiver. He posted a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash and a ridiculous 6.95 in the three-cone drill. Those numbers are insane for a player of his size.

He tested as arguably the most athletic tight end to come out of the draft.

(Courtesy of Kent Lee Platte)

He’s simply bigger than every defender he’s lined up against. It’s one of the main reasons the Colts are so high on his upside to be a true difference maker both in the passing game and as a blocker.

“We think he’s going to be able to block. He did it at Oklahoma State, but he’s a unique athlete and he’s a guy that’s always open. It’s kind of like Mo (Alie-Cox), ”said Ballard. “When you’re 6-7, the quarterback can put the ball up and he’s athletic enough to be able to make a play on it. This kid can run. This kid can really run so we’re excited to get him. ”

Woods is likely starting on the depth chart behind Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson, but don’t be surprised if he climbs his way into a decent role during his rookie season.

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