Rookie Watch: Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
With the 1st pick of the third round the Kansas City Chiefs selected tight end Travis Kelce from The University of Cincinnati. Kelce exploded onto the draft scene his senior year as he recorded 45 catches for 722 yards and 8 touchdowns which all stand as tight end records now at Cincinnati. It was a nice pick for the Chiefs as he will come in and immediately compete for the starting tight end spot with the often injured Tony Moeaki. What may give Kelce the edge in this competition is that he’s a complete tight end. He’s a player who’s capable to stay in and block, which is not one of Moeaki’s strengths, and he’s also going to pose problems for opposing defenses in the passing game.
If Kelce can land the starting spot in Kansas City, his fantasy ceiling could be as high as a top 12 tight end play his rookie year. That may be a little overzealous of me but when I look at the top 12 highest scoring tight ends of last season I see Antonio Gates who finished as the 12th ranked tight end in fantasy football with a very pedestrian like stat line of 49 catches, 538 yards and 7 touchdowns. Now the 7 touchdowns may be a bit much to ask of Kelce in his rookie year but I don’t think it’s out of the question that he could come close to the receptions and yards if given the chance.
I also like the options the Chiefs have in Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin (I still have hope) and Jamaal Charles out of the backfield. Opposing defenses might be forced to pick their poison, which could turn Kelce into a nice security blanket for Alex Smith. It also doesn’t hurt that Andy Reid’s west coast offense has always been tight end friendly and made Brent Celek a quality fantasy play when he coached the Philadelphia Eagles and I think it can do the same for Kelce.
Now he just has to nail down the starting spot.