After trading up 13 spots in the fifth round, the KC Chiefs decided to spend that pick on a tight end, more specfically, Noah Gray out of Duke.
While the Kansas City Chiefs have the best tight end in the league and also signed Blake Bell this offseason, I’m all for them bringing in a tight end via the draft. Noah Gray‘s numbers don’t pop off the page but the position is a need for the Chiefs and now they have a more reliable third tight end option than that of Nick Keizer.
Gray spent all four years at Duke and this past season totaled 29 receptions for 285 yards and two touchdowns. He won’t be a starter for the Chiefs but he won’t need to be, as Kelce is still wheeling and dealing as a starter. Bell is going to be the backup in 2021 but as mentioned above, Grey provides a nice third-string option at tight end.
The KC Chiefs have addressed the tight end spot with Noah Gray.
I’ve never understood why the Chiefs haven’t addressed the lack of depth behind Kelce. As Adam Teicher tweeted above, the Chiefs haven’t spent a draft pick on a tight end since they did so on James O’Shaughnessy in 2015. O’Shaughnessy is still playing in the league (though his success has come in Jacksonville) and hopefully the Chiefs hit on another fifth-round tight end (but keep him in KC this time).
Per his draft profile on NFL.com,
"Gray understands leverage and how to create some tilt in coverage but doesn’t have play speed or separation burst to do enough with it. While he’s not going to have the size or strength to block defenders when firing off the ball, he has enough athleticism and grit to offer some assistance as a move blocker from the slot or wing position. He has late-round potential and could find a team fit as a TE3/4."
This shouldn’t be a surprising assessment. The Chiefs were looking for a TE3 and Gray fits the mold. His best season came in 2019 when he tallied 51 receptions for 392 yards and three touchdowns for the Blue Devils. If he can give the Chiefs that kind of production behind Kelce, this will be a successful pick for Kansas City.
The Chiefs are doing a good job with addressing needs so far in the 2021 NFL Draft and Noah Gray is another example of that.