KC Chiefs: Gavin Escobar could be biggest surprise player in 2017

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The KC Chiefs have one of the best tight ends in the entire sport in Travis Kelce. Could Kelce be getting some major help this year from teammate Gavin Escobar? It’s entirely possible with the camp Escobar is having.

Every year, there’s that guy in training camp that Kansas City Chiefs fans get all hot and bothered over. Last year, for instance, it was Justin March-Lillard. A few years ago, it was Jonathan Baldwin. Remember how good Baldwin was in training camp back in 2010? Ugh.

Those might be really bad examples, but normally, these guys in training camp do end up sorely disappointing in the regular season. For some reason, however, I am getting pretty excited about having Gavin Escobar in Kansas City.

Now I’ll admit this seems crazy to be writing about. After all, this is just training camp and we’re only a week into the process. At the same time, however, Escobar appears to be wowing the critics, which is always going to catch people’s eyes.

Escobar, who spent the first four years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, joined the Chiefs this offseason as a hopeful candidate to be the second tight end behind Travis Kelce. Escobar’s career in Dallas was disappointing, with the former second round pick in 2013 only amassing 30 receptions for 333 yards and eight touchdowns during his Cowboys career.

The KC Chiefs brought Escobar in as another body to have in camp, but that second tight end spot is wide open for the taking. Demetrius Harris had some drama over the offseason and couldn’t catch the ball during the regular season. There’s also some guy named Ross Travis on the team who is wearing the number 88 and I don’t like that at all.

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The tight end position drops off tremendously after Travis Kelce and that’s why I like the chances of Gavin Escobar coming in and potentially making an impact as that second starter. His numbers in Dallas weren’t pretty, but as Ben Almquist wrote in his training camp preview for tight ends,

"He had limited targets in 2014, but made the most of his chances with four touchdowns and seven first downs on just nine catches. Those aren’t overly impressive stats, but they are efficient ones."

Escobar could instantly become one of Alex Smith‘s favorite targets in the red zone, and that can’t be understated. We all know how much Smith loves his tight ends, so perhaps Gavin Escobar will become that underrated player that goes on to mesh well with Smith?

At the end of the day, it’s tough to get super pumped about a player like Gavin Escobar because the guy has had four years to show he can play, and he hasn’t done that. I feel like the former San Diego State Aztec can become a surprisingly good member of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2017 season.

If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, but if I’m right, holy hell a lot of people are going to owe me alcohol. I like those odds.