2013 NFL Draft Grade: Travis Kelce


Nov 3, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats tight end Travis Kelce (18) runs during the first half against the Syracuse Orange at Nippert Stadium. The Bearcats defeated the Orange 35-24. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

THE PICK: Travis Kelce, tight end, Cincinnati

With first pick of the third round the Kansas City Chiefs selected tight end Travis Kelce of Cincinnati.

While the pick was a surprise it doesn’t mean Kansas City didn’t get a great player in Kelce. At 6-5, 255 pounds, Kelce is a sneaky quick player with good hands and excellent blocking skills. Some scouts considered him to be one of the best combo tight ends in the draft and love the tenacity in the run and pass blocking game.

The selection of Kelce and the free agent signing of Anthony Fasano means the Chiefs have the most depth at tight end that they’ve ever had and a stark improvement in their redzone offense. Kansas City was one of the worst redzone offenses last season in part because they have fewer options to go to in the passing game the closer they got to the endzone. Fasano and Kelce, paired with Tony Moeaki, gives the Chiefs several big targets in short yardage and redzone passing situations as well as improving their run blocking on the edges.

Kelce does come with the baggage of a failed drug test that resulted in him being suspended for the 2010 season, but other players like Justin Houston have had similar issues entering the draft. Tamba Hali has also had his issues with weed. Still, it is something to consider when viewing this pick.

Many fans may grade this pick lower because Kansas City did not take a quarterback or trade up to take a player like Arthur Brown. While I disagree with taking a quarterback with this pick, I would have like to see Brown or Eddie Lacy in a Chiefs uniform. Sadly, both were not available.


Here is what others said about Kelce.

Walter Football: C-



Round 1 – Eric Fisher: B