Entering the 2014 season, tight end might be deepest position for the Kansas City Chiefs, with a number of players vying for roster spots.
Last year, however, was a completely different story. Kansas City’s new regime added three new tight ends to the roster alongside Tony Moeaki, during the 2013 off season. After the signing of two veteran free agents in Anthony Fasano and Sean McGrath, the Chiefs also drafted Travis Kelce in the third round, out of the University of Cincinnati.
Early injuries to Moeaki, Fasano, and Kelce forced McGrath into the starting role early on in 2013, who performed well in several games: which led himself and his beard both becoming fan favorites.
Upon the return of Fasano, many of us expected the offense to open up a little bit, but that wasn’t really the case. Travis Kelce only played in one game due to a nagging knee injury, and Moeaki was later released.
A little less than a year later, tight end seems to be the least of the Kansas City Chiefs’ worries. Anthony Fasano and Sean McGrath are playing well in OTA’s, and I’m sure they’ll bothtry their best to pick up where they left off, last season.
Travis Kelce is expected to return to football activities in the near future, which should get every Chiefs fan excited because Kelce’s boasts a unique blend of strength, size, and speed, which is downright scary.
I haven’t even mentioned the star of OTA’s, Demetrius Harris, the former basketball player at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The 22-year-old has caught seemingly everything the past couple of weeks, making him the talk of the town. Even though OTA’s mean virtually nothing because they’re not playing in pads or hitting each other, it still says something that Harris is creating as much buzz as he is.
Depth Chart Prediction:
Starter: Anthony Fasano
Reasoning: Probably the most complete overall tight end on the roster, Fasano is an experienced veteran who won’t put up huge numbers, but he should prove to be a reliable target for Alex Smith.
Last season was a bit of a disappointment for Fasano and he should rebound after an entire off season of forming the kind of chemistry that was missing between him and Smith. Just because I think he’ll be named the starter doesn’t mean he’ll be the most productive of the group.
Second String: Travis Kelce
Reasoning: Kelce easily has the most promising future of all Kansas City’s tight ends. He’s more than big enough to stay on the line and block if need be, or he can be moved off the line, to the outside, where his combination of size and speed can be tough for most defensive backs to handle.
If he can stay healthy, it’s definitely not crazy to think that Kelce could put up big numbers in Andy Reid‘s offense.
Third String: Sean McGrath
Reasoning: Even though he had a career season in 2013, McGrath just doesn’t possess the talent and size of Travis Kelce, or the reliability and experience of Anthony Fasano.
Being the fan favorite that he is, McGrath is sure to see some playing time throughout the year; not to mention the fact that he provides for quality depth. There aren’t many teams around the league have three guys that could start at tight end. It’s a good problem to have.
Practice Squad: Demetrius Harris
Reasoning: Harris oozes talent as a receiving tight end, but he’s still a work in progress. Being as he hasn’t played organized football since he was a senior in high school, four years ago, he’s definitely been playing catch-up since his arrival in Kansas City.
In order to get on the field, Demetrius Harris will have to hone in on his blocking skills, while continuing to get bigger and stronger. If the day ever comes when Harris can become that type of player, he just might put the league on notice within the next couple of years.
Tight end may go from a thin one to a deep one for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014. Hopefully, they can stay healthy as a group.