3 Chiefs Position Battles to Watch at OTAs

Jared Wiley had eight receiving TDs for TCU in 2023
Jared Wiley had eight receiving TDs for TCU in 2023 / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Third-String Tight End

Noah Gray is Travis Kelce's primary backup for good reason, but the Chiefs added a pair of intriguing receiving threats in the offseason. Irv Smith Jr. is athletic with experience, while fourth-round rookie Jared Wiley is already reminding people of a young Travis Kelce.

This is Gray's final year under contract. I believe the long-term plan is to have Wiley become the No. 2 as Kelce eases into retirement, though there's a path to an impactful role even this season. Kelce may see his snaps managed more than in previous years to ensure he's healthy in the playoffs, giving Gray, Wiley, and Smith Jr. chances to contribute.

Thus, I'm hoping Wiley snatches the third-string job early. Nothing against Smith Jr., but Wiley caught eight TDs last season and is a solid four inches taller. His upside is through the roof and he's in the perfect spot to realize his promise.

If both Wiley and Smith Jr. struggle, perhaps Gray has an argument to be extended. He's been a reliable No. 2, and he's got an opportunity to show he's the true Kelce successor. I think he projects better in his current role with Wiley surpassing him, but that remains to be seen.

Wiley looked the part during rookie minicamp. Now, I'll be waiting to see if he still looks the part each step of the way until training camp and beyond.

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