When the Kansas City Chiefs drafted tight end, Travis Kelce in the 2013 NFL draft, a certain excitement began to build. After watching highlights of his college days, you could easily understand why Andy Reid and John Dorsey selected him in the third round.
His size (6’6″, 260lbs) is impressive at his position and his ability to out run defensive backs is what really grabs your attention. Last week against the Bengals, Kelce caught a pass up the seam from Chase Daniel and blazed past the secondary for a 63 yard touchdown.
On Sunday, Kelce did almost the exact same thing this time with a different quarterback and facing a different defense. Kelce caught a pass up the seam, split the defense and got into the endzone for a 43 yard touchdown reception with defenders draping on his back. His play put the Chiefs ahead with a 16-14 lead that was short lived.
After the game, Alex Smith spoke to the media and was asked about the rise of this young talent,
“Kelce has made two huge plays, and he even had some other ones underneath tonight and making guys miss and getting north and south,” quarterback Alex Smith said. “It was good to see. He’s going to add another element to the tight end position. He’ll stretch some defenses and do some things with the ball in his hands. It’s exciting to see.”
Kelce is quickly showing what the Chiefs missed form him in 2013. After having an impressive start to camp last year, Kelce was put on IR after suffering from a knee injury that required microscopic surgery. The Chiefs battled injury from the tight end position all season and had to rely on journeyman, Sean McGrath, who filled in very nicely.
This season, it seems like the tight end position will finally be a strength to the offense for the first time since Tony Gonzalez was traded. Anthony Fasano is healthy, Travis Kelce is showing serious promise, and Demetrius Harris is said to be one of the best young prospects on the roster.
Andy Reid runs a tight end friendly offense but, as Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star pointed out, those numbers took a hit last season. According to Covitz, Chiefs tight ends only caught 54 passes for 537 yards in 2013. Those numbers are down when comparing to Reid’s last four season’s in Philly, where his tight ends averaged 72 receptions and 855 yards.
With the emergence of Kelce, and a healthy Fasano, you can believe that those numbers will go back up from 2013. Another factor in all of this is the young offensive line. Fisher has struggled on the left side so far, so you’re lead to believe that the Chiefs will need to run more two tight end sets to help block. This only means more reps for guys like Kelce and Harris, as Fasano is the undoubted starter.
The receiving corp isn’t exactly a strength either and Alex Smith loves to target the tight end position as well. Having Kelce display the skills we all hoped for brings not only excitement, but another element to the Chiefs offense.
What to our readers think of Kelce so far, and do you think he has the potential to be the next big threat at his position?