The Colts house cleaning efforts this offseason included parting ways with longtime TE Dallas Clark. He was a safety net for Peyton Manning for all those years in Indy and the Colts hope Fleener becomes the same for the presumptive No. 1 pick Andrew Luck.
SB Nation's Colts blog, Stampede Blue, explains the pick:
HEY! It's a Colts draft party, and only prospects from Stanford are invited! At pick No. 34, the impulse for the Colts is to take a nose tackle, ANY nose tackle, because their new look 3-4 defense simply will not work without one. It is completely pointless to run 3-4 without a quality nose tackle, and while I had my sights on Brandon Thompson of Clemson, at the end of the day it comes down to value. A kid like Thompson is a nice player. He'll give you 100%. He'll play tough. He'll be a good player in the middle of your defense. However, Fleener has the potential to be a dominant offensive player in the NFL. As the Patriots showed last year, utilizing the tight end in the modern NFL (where safeties can no longer use their helmets to spear receivers over the middle) can carve up just about anyone. The 6'6, 245 lbs Fleener ran a 4.45 second 40 at his Pro Day. A windy, outdoor Pro Day! His hands are football magnets. He can jump. He fights for yardage and drags defenders for first downs. Basically, Fleener has a chance to be a Pro Bowler while most NT prospects here are just solid. Thus, the move here is Fleener with, possibly, grabbing someone like Baylor's Nicolas Jean-Bapiste in round three.